Prague - Christian Democrat (KDU-ČSL) MP Ludvík Hovorka yesterday joined the Social Democrats (ČSSD) in their calls on the voters to use their votes in the regional elections and Senate by-elections starting today to stop reforms proposed by Health Minister Tomáš Julínek from the senior ruling Civic Democrats (ODS).
"Citizens, do not let the politicians limit the healthcare you have a right to. Please go to cast your votes if you do not want your constitutional rights to be limited and if you don't want completely commercial principles introduced in healthcare," Hovorka wrote in his appeal.
KDU-ČSL leader Jiří Čunek told Aktuálně.cz that he was taken aback by the MP's statement. Čunek distanced his party from Hovorka's position by saying the MP "is a straightforward and honest person who felt the need to express his opinion". The party leader added: "I know that our coalition partners won't like this, but hopefully they will understand there was no ill will."
Although the KDU-ČSL is a member of the coalition government, Hovorka is known for his highly critical stance towards the proposed healthcare reforms. He is even considering whether he should vote against the government in the vote of no confidence scheduled by the ČSSD for next week.
Read more: ČSSD calls no-confidence vote next week
The MP mainly opposes four amendments drafted by Julínek, saying that their adoption would open the door for virtually unlimited increases in medical fees and co-payments. Hovorka claims that one of the bills, modifying the public insurance system, is anticonstitutional.
Hovorka believes that the regional elections and Senate by-elections are very important and that their outcome may stop the reform.
"These elections are important as their result may decide whether the bills will be discussed in the parliament or set aside," said Hovorka.