“Statusgate” Affair, appeal to coalition parties and correction of mistakes

Appeal to the Coalition Parties: Ignore rumours and statuses. Instead, say who demands opt-outs for ČEZ and further hurdles to the most widely shunned legislation

  • Reconstruction of the State asks the Coalition Parties to kindly reveal what exemptions they have proposed or are seeking to obtain concerning the Bill on the Registry of Contracts.
  • Regarding the Coalition Council, Reconstruction of the State was in touch with all the three political parties, and not only the ANO Movement as reported by the media. It has not issued any official or unofficial statement on the negotiations.
  • A member of the Platform’s management has apologized for his personal Facebook status (notably on ČRo Plus). However, his status did not contain any “internal information”, but presented only general impressions from the legislative debate process.
  • Reconstruction of the State had decided about a change in its management before the debate at the Coalition Council: the two events were not interconnected, as ČTK attempted to hint yesterday.

Over the past few days, Reconstruction of the State has become the focus of a dispute among the Coalition Parties, concerning the shape of the Bill on the Registry of Contracts. Let us therefore correct a series of mistakes borrowed by the media from the various representatives of these parties. We would also ask their chairmen to kindly provide the public with clear-cut information on who proposed the exemptions for the company ČEZ, the shelving of a sanctions mechanism to the next election period, the CZK 50,000 limit for the publication of contracts, as well as other hitherto unknown opt-outs. We believe that the parties should not hide this or put the blame on their partners.

Correcting media errors:

Representatives of Reconstruction of the State did not communicate only with the ANO Movement, but interacted with officials from all three Coalition Parties present, in the course of the Coalition Council meeting.

Likewise they met in the previous months with the chairmen of all three Coalition Parties over the issue of contract register. Comparison of unofficial reports issued by the various actors from the respective parties and brief media information is, regrettably, the only way to find out what is going on with the longest-unresolved bill in the Chamber of Deputies during the past six months. Six months ago the bill advanced from the parliamentary committees open to public to a very nontransparent debate in the Coalition Council.

Reconstruction of the State has not released any “information”.

The only “public” issue presented was the evaluative remark that the ČSSD and KDU-ČSL “add a problem to every solution”, which appeared on the private Facebook profile of Pavel Franc, a representative of the Reconstruction of the State Platform. “It was surely unfortunate and undiplomatic, but this should not obscure the fact that in the past six months the Government Coalition has not forwarded the bill to the Chamber of Deputies but has commissioned further adjustments, whereby it is not possible to ascertain the roles of each party in the gradual modification of the bill, resulting in exempting ČEZ, excluding contracts below CZK 50,000, and a delay of the invalidity sanction, which is to be replaced, in the first two years, by a fine amounting to 25 percent of the value of the undisclosed contract,” says Pavel Franc.  (This fine could be yet another smart obstruction, since a simple law will have to embody a complex mechanism, stipulating who will check the contracts, mete out the fine and enforce it. Moreover, in this way, the bill would only affect the next government.)

KDU-ČSL has labelled the statement about creating new problems a fabrication. At the same time, however, they confirmed the information that their delegate Jan Kasal insisted that the Coalition Council again return the bill to the Economic Committee.

Reconstruction of the State does not promote ANO’s positive PR image. Quite the contrary:

  • In the context of drafting a bill on public prosecution, Reconstruction of the State has criticized not only the bill itself (bit.ly/18aTeiZ), but also Helena Válková and Robert Pelikán (bit.ly/1wsYLg6).
  • Aktualne.cz has released a series of articles, based on data provided by our member organizations, suggesting that one in four reshuffles in the statutory bodies of state-owned companies is linked with Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (see for example bit.ly/1AhN5Ih).
  • Before the local elections, we rated the ANO Movement worst of all government parties; this rating was distributed to 2.3 million Czech households (bit.ly/1EW3d8C).
  • Last year, we waged a bitter campaign against Deputy Pilný (www.panepilnybudelip.cz, i.e. long before he became a “rebel”) and against then candidate for Prague Mayor, Adriana Krnáčová (bit.ly/1xcozbj), who worked to kill the registry of contracts bill.
  • Our interviews were often critical of Deputy Prime Minister Babiš (see also bit.ly/1Bq5xne).

Transparency International left the Platform’s management less than one week before the Coalition Council meeting.

The succession of these two developments was purely incidental, contrary to what the report issued by ČTK implies. Additional information about the change of guarantors (members of the steering committee) is available in this press release.

Reconstruction of the State has never expressed support to the ANO Movement’s demand that publication of already valid contracts be part of the government-sanctioned bill.

To begin with, such demand is not part of the Pledge of Support for Reconstruction of the State. The proposal itself has not yet been specified; it has not been discussed by our Platform’s group of experts, and its negotiation might actually put the bill at risk.

No member of the Platform was present at the congress of the ANO Movement.

A volunteer ambassador of Reconstruction of the State visited the congress to persuade deputies about the usefulness of the bills. We also asked to be allowed to attend the congresses of the ČSSD and KDU-ČSL. ČSSD turned down our request but offered to distribute our leaflets to the delegates.

Requests for additional information are welcome by:
Jiří Boudal, 777 804 658