Justice Minister Blazek Threatens Public Trust In Justice, Says Pirate Party

The ODS district branch meeting in Brno yesterday expressed unequivocal support for Blazek as minister. Photo: Petr Fiala (left), Pavel Blazek (right). Credit: ODS Brno, via Facebook.

Prague, June 20 (CTK) – Czech Justice Minister Pavel Blazek (ODS) threatens public trust in justice and rule of law and the fulfilment of the government’s stated policy goals, according to a resolution approved by members of the junior coalition Pirate Party in an online vote that ended yesterday, the party’s spokeswoman Veronika Smidova told CTK.

The resolution was a response to Blazek’s possible conflict of interest related to the investigation of corruption involving municipal flats in Brno, and to some of his controversial steps reported by anti-corruption organisations in recent months.

In the online vote, 514 party members voted on possible alternative steps, and 369 of them voted for the resolution.

The ODS district branch meeting in Brno yesterday expressed unequivocal support for Blazek as minister, said ODS spokesman Jakub Skyva.

In response, Blazek pointed out that less than one-third of Pirate members eligible to vote expressed no confidence in him online. He stressed, on the other hand, the support of his Brno ODS party branch.

Pirate Party leader Ivan Bartos intends to discuss the result of the vote with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS).

Fiala told CTK that he had only media information on the results of the vote on the Pirate Forum. “On the other hand, the Brno regional assembly, which I attended this evening, expressed unanimous support for Pavel Blazek,” he said.

“Out of a total of 1,177 Pirate Party members, 369 have sent me messages of no confidence electronically, less than a third,” wrote Blazek on Twitter. “And tonight, 129 delegates of the Brno ODS congress, representing 898 members, supported me in office. They, unlike the nationally voting Pirates, live in Brno. They did not decide on the basis of fiction and conjecture in the media or on social networks, but with real knowledge of the environment and, importantly, after giving me the opportunity to tell them my side directly.” 

Bartos noted in a press release that the Pirates in government had discussed their reservations with Blazek.

“It was agreed that in the future there would never be a repetition of cases where letters from MPs via a minister went to state prosecutors, which could give the impression of political pressure,” he said.

However, he said some doubts about the Brno case still remained in the public sphere. The Pirates, he said, were confirming how the situation surrounding Blazek is perceived by people who follow politics.

“I am ready to help resolve the situation within the capacity we have as Pirates,” said Bartos. “This is something we have also advocated for as a parliamentary group in the past. Primarily, however, it is up to the Prime Minister and ODS, which is in charge of the ministry and its personnel and ensures its functioning. I would like to discuss the conclusions of the Pirates’ meeting with Fiala, and I have also been approached by important anti-corruption organisations.” 

The Pirate Party’s membership-wide vote was initiated by MEP Marketa Gregorova at the party forum. She criticised Blazek over the cases publicised in the media, arguing that, as an anti-corruption party, the Pirates should stand up.

Blazek said on Friday that he had offered Gregorova an open debate, but that she had no time. The online survey is thus “about him without him,” he wrote on Twitter.

Fiala (ODS) recently said there was no need for concern about disputes in the government coalition, adding that he could not see any abuse of power by Blazek.

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