Mirek Topolánek

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Mirek Topolánek
Mirek Topolanek.jpg
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
In office
4 September 2006 – 8 May 2009
President Václav Klaus
Deputy Martin Bursík
Vlasta Parkanová
Petr Nečas
Alexandr Vondra
Preceded by Jiří Paroubek
Succeeded by Jan Fischer
Deputy Speaker of Senate
In office
2002–2004
Senator from Ostrava
(70th district)
In office
1996–2004
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Liana Janáčková
Chairman of the Civic Democratic Party
In office
2002–2010
Preceded by Václav Klaus
Succeeded by Petr Nečas
Personal details
Born (1956-05-15) 15 May 1956 (age 57)
Vsetín, Czechoslovakia
(now Czech Republic)
Political party Civic Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Pavla Topolánková
Lucie Talmanová
Religion Atheist1
Signature

Mirek Topolánek (Czech pronunciation: [ˈmɪrɛk ˈtopolaːnɛk]) (born 15 May 1956) was Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 2006 to 2009. A member of the Civic Democratic Party, he was chairman of the center-right2 party between November 2002 and March 2010, succeeding Václav Klaus, who was elected President in 2003.

On 24 March 2009, Topolánek announced his resignation as Prime Minister and that of his governing coalition, after it lost a no-confidence vote in the Czech House of Deputies. He remained in office until 8 May, at which point Jan Fischer took office as an independent Prime Minister leading an interim caretaker government.3

Biography

Mirek Topolánek attended a military high school in Opava, where he became a Socialistic Union of Youth member which he claimed to be semi-obligatory for future career officers4 of the Czechoslovak People's Army. After finishing he studied at Brno University of Technology where he received an Ing. degree in mechanical engineering. In 1996 he won a scholarship for Training Course in Management of small and medium enterprise (MIM) in Cyprus and also attended a post-graduate Course in Corporate Management (Centre for Management Training, Čelákovice CZ).

He entered politics by becoming a member of a post-communist catch-all civic movement Civic Forum in 1989 and has been a member of the Civic Democratic Party since 1994. Topolánek co-founded the engineering company VAE Ltd. in 1991 and was a member of the VAE Inc. board of directors from 1996 to 2003.

Topolánek has two daughters, two sons and two grandchildren. He was married to Pavla Topolánková from 1979 to February 2010.5 In June 2010, he married Lucie Talmanová.6 His hobbies include tennis, golf and rally driving. He likes books by Steinbeck, Hemingway, and Kundera.citation needed He admires such political personalities as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and José María Aznarcitation needed and music by the Czech folk singer Jarek Nohavica as well as Pink Floyd.citation needed

Political career

Topolánek was a member of the Senate from 1996 to 2004 and its deputy chairman from 2002 to 2004. Since June 2006 he has been a member of the Chamber of Deputies. After the June parliamentary elections in 2006, which produced a stalemate result (100 seats for left-leaning and 100 for right-leaning parties out of 200 Chamber of Deputies members). Topolánek was appointed Prime Minister by Václav Klaus on 16 August 2006 and introduced a unicolour government (nine members of the Civic Democratic Party and six independents). This government (Topolánek I) failed to gain confidence in the Chamber of Deputies, but he continued to be caretaker Prime Minister until 9 January 2007, when his second cabinet (Topolánek II) was appointed. He put together a centre-right coalition government with the Green Party and Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party. It finally gained confidence on 19 January 2007 (230 days after the elections), thanks to two social democratic deputies who abstained, thus effectively defaulting to a right-wing government rather than the unstable situation ongoing since the June 2006 elections.

Involvement in the Anti-Missile Defence System

Mirek Topolánek is an ardent supporter of the Bush administration's proposed anti-missile defence system, which was vehemently opposed by the Russians, and which the Obama administration has suggested may not need to be built if Russia cooperates in convincing Iran, the country whose nuclear ambitions the defence system is to protect against, to stop the development of its nuclear programme and its support of terrorist organisations across the Middle East.

Five Prime Minister's Priorities

Mirek Topolánek introduced the so-called "Five Prime Minister's Priorities" in October 2007. It is a government statement which includes 10 program areas, which consist of 190 projects of Government's Program Goals Through Electoral Term accepted by the government. To facilitate orientation and communication with citizens Mirek Topolánek has summarised the 10 program areas to Five Prime Minister‘s Priorities: Healthy Public Finances, Modern and Efficient State, Safe Citizen in a Safe Country, Removing Barriers, Promoting Science and Education.

Fall of Government

On 24 March 2009, after four failed earlier attempts, the opposition ČSSD and communists party succeeded in leading the lower house of the Czech parliament to a no confidence vote in Topolánek's government. The measure passed with 101 votes to 96 as four members of Topolánek's coalition (two of his own party) voting with the opposition.78 After the vote, Topolánek said that he would resign in accordance with the Constitution. He confidently said: "We believe the president should also follow the custom and appoint me to form a new government."9

Several observerswho? were surprised by the outcome of the vote. In addition, the European Commission stated that it had confidence in the Czech Republic, and that the nation's EU presidency would remain unaffected.10

On 15 September 2009, Topolánek resigned his seat in the Chamber of Deputies after ČSSD announced a delay of proposed snap election in October 2009.11

Controversies

Topolánek has been criticised for his rhetoric, which occasionally invokes memories of the World War II and Nazi atrocities.12 In August 2003 Topolánek called the programme of the competing Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) to be a "osvětimská lež"12 (Auschwitz lie), a common expression in Czech which denotes Holocaust denial.1314

Further in June 2005, one year before the Parliament elections, he said: "From my side, don't expect anything else than a Night of the Long Knives. This night simply comes."12 This actually meant that after the elections of 2006, which he would win, he would make major personnel changes in the government.citation needed

In March 2007, he sent to a journalist an SMS message beginning with: "Es kommt der Tag...", which means "The day will come...".15 This was used in the 1930s by the Sudetendeutsche Party representing Germans in the former Czechoslovakia, and meant that the day will come, when the Sudeten Area will become a part of Germany. Also in 2007, Topolánek was criticised when he raised his middle finger in the lower house.16 In October 2008, Topolánek lashed out at a photographer who was taking photographs of his 15-month-old son. BBC reported that at one stage Topolánek pushed the photographer against a wall and threateningly asked why he was taking photos of him.17

On 30 May 2009, the Italian police seized photos under suspicion of a violation of privacy. One photo, according to world media181920 showed Topolánek naked at Villa Certosa (Silvio Berlusconi's summer house) in May 2008.21 In the end, Topolánek admitted the naked man sunbathing near a topless women in Berlusconi's Villa Certosa was himself.22

On 20 March 2010 Blesk and Lidové noviny newspapers reprinted passages from interview Topolánek gave to Czech gay magazine LUI which contained his several controversial statements criticising brainwashing allegedly perpetrated by Christian churches23 and claims that both gay and Jewish people lack integrity of moral character, but Jews more so.232425 He also expressed his contempt towards voters of ČSSD and described their view on minorities as 'imprison them all and kick up their arses'.25 He did apologize for his statements, which he claimed were taken out of context, on 21 March 2010.25 LUI published full video footage of the interview.26 Prime minister Fischer replied to Topolánek's statements describing them as 'stupid, insulting and misleading'. He also expressed his desire to restrain his contact to Topolánek to a minimum.25

In the light of this controversy, Topolánek decided to step down as election leader of Civic Democratic Party in the Czech legislative election, held in May 2010.27 The deputy chairman Petr Nečas took up his post.27

References

  1. ^ (Czech)"Bojujme za svět bez klimatických změn". 16 May 2007. 
  2. ^ "Czechs take over leadership of EU". BBC News Online. 1 January 2009. 
  3. ^ Jan Fischer named new Czech prime minister, 9 April 2009, Agence France-Presse, Paris.Accessed 23 July 2010.
  4. ^ (Czech) Interview with Topolánek with info about his SSM membership
  5. ^ "Topolanek, leader of Czech ODS, divorces". Czech Press Agency. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Former PM Topolánek marries Talmanová". Prague Daily Monitor. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  7. ^ "Czech MPs oust government in vote". BBC. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  8. ^ "Czech MPs oust government over economic crisis". Financial Times. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009. 
  9. ^ Richter, Jan (25 March 2009). "Government falls in no-confidence vote". Radio Praha. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  10. ^ "Czech collapse 'no threat to EU'". BBC. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  11. ^ Topolánek složil poslanecký mandát (Czech)
  12. ^ a b c Trestní oznámení na Topolánka: prý propaguje nacismus (Czech)
  13. ^ David Irving a osvětimská lež; google translation of the page*"supporters of the Nazi era "osvětimské lie" (i.e., denial of the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau)"
  14. ^ Article about Holocaust from Czech wiki; translation:*"In many countries of the world (including the Czech Republic) is preaching the theory of so-called Osvětimské lies valued as a criminal offense."
  15. ^ Topolánek pobouřil SMSkou bojovníky proti nacismu (in Czech)
  16. ^ "MP and finance minister trade insult, finger gesture – Radio Prague". Radio.cz. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "Czech PM lashes out at photographer". BBC. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  18. ^ Daniel McLaughlin (7 June 2009). "Berlusconi's naked Czech friend becomes the butt of jokes | World news | The Observer". Guardian (UK). Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "Newspaper Prints Photos of Naked Guests at Berlusconi Villa". Newser.com. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  20. ^ ANI, 8 Jun 2009, 12.25 am IST (8 June 2009). "Man found naked was Czech ex-PM – UK – World – The Times of India". Timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  21. ^ Topolanek nudo nel giardino della Villa e nei viali bionde e brune mozzafiato. Corriere della Sera. 31 May 2009. Retrieved on 31 May 2009.
  22. ^ Photographs show 'naked' Czech ex-PM at Berlusconi's villa. Times Online. 6 July 2009.
  23. ^ a b Volební deník: Růžový Topol pomluvil církev i Fischera – Aktuálně.cz
  24. ^ "Czech PM Fischer is weak, ODS head Topolanek says in press". ČTK (Czech Press Agency). 25 March 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  25. ^ a b c d Topolánek se kaje za výroky. Fischer s ním omezí styky – Aktuálně.cz
  26. ^ . LUI. 22 March 2010 http://www.lui-magazine.cz/index.php?clanek=nesestye-uhan-e-debata-s-panem-topol-enkem. Retrieved 27 March 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ a b Velinger, Jan (26 March 2010). "Analyst: Topolánek’s failure to resign as party leader likely to cause further problems for Civic Democrats". Czech Radio. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Nicolas Sarkozy
President of the European Council
2009
Succeeded by
Jan Fischer
Preceded by
Jiří Paroubek
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
2006–2009
Preceded by
Office created
Senator from Ostrava
(70th District)

1996–2004
Succeeded by
Liana Janáčková
Preceded by
Unknown
Deputy Speaker of the Senate
2002–2004
Succeeded by
Jiří Liška
Party political offices
Preceded by
Václav Klaus
President of the Civic Democratic Party
2002–2010
Succeeded by
Petr Nečas







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