Prague - Junior coalition member Public Affairs has split up, putting the future of the Czech Republic's three-party government in question.
Deputy chairwoman of Public Affairs Karolína Peake announced her departure from the party on Tuesday, 17 April. Peake, who is also a Deputy PM, said that she did not agree with her party's actions during the latest government crisis two weeks ago.
Peake also announced the formation of her own political platform in the lower chamber. At least six Public Affairs deputies have joined the new platform.
In addition, founder and informal leader of Public Affairs Vít Bárta was convicted of corruption charges last week.
Bárta appealed against the verdict, but PM Nečas said today he does not want his government backed by a party informally led by a person convicted of corruption.
Nečas said he wants a "safe majority" of seats in the Chamber of Deputies that would allow the government to carry on.
The PM also said that he will hold talks with Peake and her new "platform".
The PM's own Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and TOP 09, the two major government parties, control 93 seats of the 200-seat lower chamber of the Czech parliament.
This means that Karolína Peake's "platform" would need to have at least eight members in order to be able to form a majority with the ODS and TOP 09.
Nečas refused to specify what exactly a "safe majority" means, but said that a 101 or 102 majority would not be enough.
Chairman of TOP 09 deputies Petr Gazdík said to public Czech Television that the government should be supported by at least 103 or 104 deputies.
If the "safe majority" is not reached, early elections will be held before summer, said PM Nečas.