Updates: 19.06.2022 10:45
Prague – Minister of Education Petr Gazdík (STAN) will resign from the government on June 30. He announced it today on his twitter account. In recent days, the media has drawn attention to his contacts with businessman and lobbyist Michal Redl, who is one of the accused in the case of a Prague transport company. Gazdík said that he did not feel guilty about anything, but did not want to shake the government or the coalition on the threshold of the presidency of the European Union, which falls on the Czechia in the second half of the year. This will be the first change in the government of Petr Fiala (ODS) since her December appointment.
Gazdík is not a suspect in the case, but according to the media, he met with Redl in a secure office, spent a weekend together in the Alps and communicated over an encrypted phone. Gazdík did not deny the contacts, but ruled out that Redl would interfere in his political actions or decision-making by STAN. “However, my contacts with some people also cast a shadow over the STAN movement. I do not want to shake the government or the coalition on the threshold of the EU presidency,” he explained his resignation.
Police say an organized group of dozens of defendants have systematically held key positions in the transport company so that the appointment of friendly managers can influence various tenders in order to obtain bribes from the winning companies. Former Deputy Mayor of Prague Petr Hlubuček (STAN) also belonged to the group.
Gazdík stated that he did not feel guilty in the case. “I did nothing wrong. However, the information that is gradually leaking from the investigation file to the media puts the government and STAN in an unfavorable light, which I want to prevent,” he added. According to him, during the further discussion of the case, it will become clear that the criminal case does not concern him in any way.
He considers contacts with Redlem a mistake. “Or naivety, which is also a mistake for a politician. That’s all I feel guilty about. Certainly not participating in a criminal organization. I didn’t steal anything, I didn’t pass on any business to anyone,” he added. According to him, the Minister of Education should be an unquestionable role model. “I don’t like to leave work,” he added.
Gazdík announced that he would end up as the vice-chairman of STAN. Of the four ordinary vice-presidents elected at last year’s assembly, only the deputy speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Věra Kovářová, will remain in charge of the Mayors. In March, MEP Stanislav Polčák resigned, the last of the vice-presidents, Věslav Michalik, to die suddenly a week ago. STAN chairman Vít Rakušan announced this week that he would propose an autumn early assembly, and that he would defend the position of the movement’s leader.
Gazdík is the first minister to end up in Fiala’s government. President Miloš Zeman appointed a cabinet last December 17, the coalition of Spolu (ODS, KDU-ČSL, TOP 09) and Pirates of STAN then gained the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies in mid-January.
Fiala praised Gazdík’s resignation as an expression of a change in political culture
The Prime Minister and head of the ODS, Fiala, praised Gazdík’s decision to resign. The Prime Minister sees this step as an expression of the change in political culture that the current governing coalition wants to promote. At the same time, he thanked Gazdík for his work. The departure of the Minister of Education is the first change in Fiala’s cabinet since his appointment last December.
“According to all available information, Petr Gazdík is neither accused nor investigated. This is therefore an honest solution to which we have not been accustomed in high politics in recent years,” he said.Wallflower.
Source: České noviny – hlavní události by www.ceskenoviny.cz.
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