Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman named Jiri Rusnok as caretaker prime minister after outgoing Prime Minister Petr Necas resigned last week over an illegal spying scandal of his close aide, Jana Nagyova. Zeman has repeatedly said that a "government of experts" is his preferred solution to the political crisis.
Zeman said the caretaker government's primary task will be to prepare a state budget for 2014 and make sure that the ongoing investigation of the Jana Nagyova proceeds unhampered.
Jiri Rusnok is a member of the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and served as finance minister between 2001 and 2002 in the government of then-PM Milos Zeman and as industry minister between 2002 and 2003 in the government of then-PM Vladimir Spidla.
However, in spite of the appointment of Rusnok, the ruling coalition of the senior government Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and two junior parties, TOP 09 and LIDEM, wants to continue in its present form under a new prime minister.
The senior government Civic Democratic Party (ODS) announced earlier today that it had collected the signatures of 101 members of the 200-seat lower chamber who are ready to vote for the new coalition government led by Miroslava Nemcova (ODS). Nemcova said that lawmakers from the ODS, TOP 09 and LIDEM, as well as two independent lawmakers will vote for her government. TOP 09 pledged its support to Nemcova already last week, LIDEM announced its decision to support Nemcova earlier today. Nemcova also said that ODS, TOP 09 and LIDEM lawmakers will not support the caretaker government of Jiri Rusnok.
Nemcova said at a press conference today that the idea of a new coalition government, which she called a "political solution" of the ongoing crisis, is supported by a majority in the lower house, which means that there is no need neither for a snap election, nor for a caretaker government.
Since the establishment of the Czech Republic in 1993, the country has had two caretaker cabinets - the Milan Tosovsky government between 1997 and 1998 and the Jan Fischer government between 2009 and 2010.
In the past 20 years, only three other European countries have had caretaker governments with the support of the parliament: Italy in 1995/96 and 2011/13, Greece in 2011/12 and Rumania in 2012.