Mirek Topolánek

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Mirek Topolánek
Mirek Topolanek.jpg
7th 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
Leader of the Civic Democratic Party
In office
14 December 2002 – 13 April 2010
Preceded by Václav Klaus
Succeeded by Petr Nečas
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
In office
3 June 2006 – 15 September 2009
Senator from Ostrava
In office
23 November 1996 – 21 November 2004
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Liana Janáčková
Personal details
Born (1956-05-15) 15 May 1956 (age 61)
Vsetín, Czechoslovakia
(now Czech Republic)
Political party Civic Democratic Party (1994–2015)
Independent (2015–present)
Other political
affiliations
Civic Forum (1989–1991)
Spouse(s) Pavla Topolánková (1979–2010)
Lucie Talmanová (2010–present)
Children 4
Signature

Mirek Topolánek (Czech pronunciation: [ˈmɪrɛk ˈtopolaːnɛk], born 15 May 1956) is a Czech politician and business manager who served as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 2006 to 2009 and Leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) from November 2002 to April 2010. Between 2006 and 2009, Topolánek was the member of the Chamber of Deputies (MP) and Senator from Ostrava from 1996 until 2004. After leaving the politics in 2010, Topolánek has been active in the electric power industry.

On 24 March 2009, Topolánek resigned as Prime Minister after he lost a no-confidence vote in the Chamber 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.[1]

In November 2017, Topolánek announced his bid for the presidency in the 2018 election.[2]

Early life[edit]

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 officers[3] 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.

Political career[edit]

Topolánek ran in the 1996 Senate election in Ostrava-city district where he beat the Social Democrat candidate Jiří Smejkal and became Senator. He was reelected in 1998 after defeating Jiří Grossmann.[4] From 2002 to 2004 he was deputy president of the Senate. Topolánek didn't seek the third term in 2004. After being elected the leader of the Civic Democratic Party in 2002 Topolánek participated in the 2006 legislative election which produced a hung parliament (100 seats for left-leaning and 100 for right-leaning parties out of 200 Chamber of Deputies members). Topolánek was appointed Prime Minister by President Václav Klaus on 16 August 2006 and introduced a unicolour government (nine members of the Civic Democratic Party and six independents). The cabinet 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 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 MPs who abstained, thus effectively defaulting to a right-wing government rather than the unstable situation ongoing since June 2006.

Premiership (2006—2009)[edit]

Topolánek formed his first government on 3 September 2006.[5] President Václav Klaus appointed the cabinet on 4 September 2006[6] but it failed to gain the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies on 3 October 2006 when 96 MPs voted for the government while 99 against and thus the Cabinet, for the first time in the history of the Czech Republic, failed to gain the confidence and had to resign.[7]

Topolánek then negotiated coalition with Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party and Green Party. His second cabinet was appointed on 9 January 2007.[8] On 19 January 2007, Chamber of Deputies passed the government's confidence vote with 100 MPs voting in favour, while 97 MPs voted against.[9]

Involvement in the Anti-Missile Defence System[edit]

Topolánek with then US President George W. Bush at the Oval Office in 2008.

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[edit]

Mirek Topolánek introduced the so-called "Five Prime Minister's Priorities" in October 2007. It was 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 had 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.

Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union[edit]

Topolánek and Werner Faymann during Czech presidency

Topolánek's government led the Czech Republic during Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2009. Czech presidency had to deal with Russia–Ukraine gas dispute. Topolánek and his team team was able to negotiate an compromise between Russian and Ukraine.[10][11][12] Another important moment was a conflict in Gaza.

Topolánek remained in position of President of European Concil until hs government was replaced by Jan Fischer's Cabinet.

Fall of Government[edit]

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.[13][14] 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."[15]

Several observers[who?] 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.[16]

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.[17]

Controversies[edit]

Topolánek has been criticised for his rhetoric, which occasionally invokes memories of the World War II and Nazi atrocities.[18] In August 2003 Topolánek called the programme of the competing Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) to be a "osvětimská lež"[18] (Auschwitz lie), a common expression in Czech which denotes Holocaust denial.[19]

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." This actually meant that after the elections of 2006, which he would win, he would make major personnel changes in the government.[18]

In March 2007, he sent to a journalist an SMS message beginning with: "Es kommt der Tag...", which means "The day will come...".[20] 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.[18] Also in 2007, Topolánek was criticised when he raised his middle finger in the lower house.[21] 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.[22]

On 30 May 2009, the Italian police seized photos under suspicion of a violation of privacy. One photo, according to world media[23][24][25] showed Topolánek naked at Villa Certosa (Silvio Berlusconi's summer house) in May 2008.[26] In the end, Topolánek admitted the naked man sunbathing near a topless women in Berlusconi's Villa Certosa was himself.[27]

On 20 March 2010 Blesk and Lidové noviny newspapers reprinted passages from an interview Topolánek gave to Czech gay magazine LUI which contained his several controversial statements criticising brainwashing allegedly perpetrated by Christian churches[28] and claims which were deliberately misinterpreted so that both gay and Jewish people lack integrity of moral character, but Jews more so.[28][29][30][31] He also expressed his contempt towards voters of ČSSD and described their view on minorities as 'imprison them all and kick up their arses'.[30] He did apologize for his statements, which he claimed were taken out of context, on 21 March 2010.[30] LUI published full video footage of the interview.[32] Prime Minister Fischer replied to Topolánek's statements describing them as 'stupid, insulting and misleading'. He also expressed his desire to restrain his contact with Topolánek to a minimum.[30]

In the light of this controversy, Topolánek decided to step down as election leader of Civic Democratic Party in the May 2010 legislative election.[33] The deputy chairman Petr Nečas took up his post.[33] In April 2015 he was expelled from ODS due to not paid members' fee.[34]

Business career[edit]

Topolánek started a business career after he left politics. His business focuses on consultancy, mediation of business and services, real estate activities, real estate management and maintenance, development and development of technical designs, research and development, advertising and marketing and media representation.[35][36] His business was successful. Topolánek himself admitted that contacts he made in politics helped him to succeed in business.[37]

2018 presidential election[edit]

Topolánek in 2017

On 3 november 2017, Václav Klaus Jr. stated that Topolánek seeks nomination of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) for the 2018 presidential election.[38] Sources within ODS didn't rule out that he could be party's nominee. Media also speculated that TOP 09 could eventually endorse him.[39] Topolánek discussed his candidacy with party's leader Petr Fiala and asked Civic Democratic senators for their signatures.[40]

On 5 November 2017, Topolánek announced his candidacy. He started to gather signatures from Senators.[41] Topolánek's candidacy was praised by politicians from the Civic Democratic Party. Leader of the Petr Fiala stated that Topolánek is a serious and experienced candidate. [42] Lidové Noviny reported that Civic Democrats will support Topolánek's candidacy. Topolánek was also praised by the leader of TOP 09 Miroslav Kalousek who believes that Topolánek could use his experiences as former Prime Minister and former President of the European Council.[43] Civic Democratic Party endorsed Topolánek on 6 November 2017.[44][45] Party of Free Citizens also suggested it could endorse him.[46] Party's leader Tomáš Pajonk stated that the party is yet to decide who to support.[47]

Topolánek launched his campaign on 30 November 2017. Topolánek stated that his foreign politics would be pragmatic but also would support Human rights. He refused migrant quotas and acceptation of Euro.[48]

Political views[edit]

Topolánek stated that ODS should embrace Klausism as its ideology when he was leader of the party. He also supported indirect election.[49]

Prior 2017 legislative election Topolánek stated that ODS should take more patriotic stances which he believed would prevent rise of Tomio Okamura and extermists. He warned against copying Alternative for Germany. Topolánek also stated that the Civic Democratic Party and the Party of Free Citizens were the only real political parties that had rational stances towards European Union because other parties were too Pro-European and talk by Euro-Speak. He was also very critical of ANO 2011 and Andrej Babiš whose politics he calle "theft guaranteed by state." He also criticised French president Emmanuel Macron for his arrogance and lack of respect towards European law and its principles.[50]

On 4 November 2017, Topolánek participated in meeting called "Law and Equality." He criticised Multiculturalism and Angela Merkel's politics towards refugees. He stated that multiculturalism is killing Europe. He warned against Sharia and called for ban of political Islam.[51]

Personal life[edit]

Topolánek has two daughters, two sons and two grandchildren. He was married to Pavla Topolánková from 1979 to February 2010.[52] In June 2010, he married Lucie Talmanová.[53] 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 Aznar[citation needed] and music by the Czech folk singer Jarek Nohavica as well as Pink Floyd.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jan Fischer named new Czech prime minister, 9 April 2009, Agence France-Presse, Paris. Accessed 23 July 2010.
  2. ^ "Mirek Topolánek potvrdil svou kandidaturu na prezidenta". Echo24.cz (in Czech). 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  3. ^ (in Czech) Interview with Topolánek with info about his SSM membership
  4. ^ "CEVRO - Mirek Topolánek - předsednictví v datech". www.cevro.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 29 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "V pátek chce Topolánek představit svou vládu prezidentovi". Radio.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  6. ^ "Česko má novou vládu". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  7. ^ "Před deseti lety nezískala Topolánkova vláda důvěry Sněmovny". Deník.cz (in Czech). 3 October 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  8. ^ "Prezident jmenoval druhou Topolánkovu vládu". iDNES.cz. 9 January 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  9. ^ "Vláda dostala důvěru v nejasném hlasování". iDNES.cz. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  10. ^ "Česko a plynová krize. 10 otázek a odpovědí". TÝDEN.cz. 11 January 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  11. ^ "Předsednictví ČR v EU 2009". Euroskop.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  12. ^ "Topolánkova pingpongová diplomacie slaví první úspěch". TÝDEN.cz. 10 January 2009. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  13. ^ "Czech MPs oust government in vote". BBC. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  14. ^ "Czech MPs oust government over economic crisis". Financial Times. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009. 
  15. ^ Richter, Jan (25 March 2009). "Government falls in no-confidence vote". Radio Praha. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  16. ^ "Czech collapse 'no threat to EU'". BBC. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  17. ^ Topolánek složil poslanecký mandát (in Czech)
  18. ^ a b c d Trestní oznámení na Topolánka: prý propaguje nacismus (in Czech)
  19. ^ David Irving a osvětimská lež Archived 6 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.; google translation of the page*"supporters of the Nazi era "osvětimské lie" (i.e., denial of the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau)"
  20. ^ Topolánek pobouřil SMSkou bojovníky proti nacismu (in Czech)
  21. ^ "MP and finance minister trade insult, finger gesture – Radio Prague". Radio.cz. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Czech PM lashes out at photographer". BBC. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2009. 
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ "Newspaper Prints Photos of Naked Guests at Berlusconi Villa". Newser.com. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  25. ^ 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. Archived from the original on 14 June 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  26. ^ Topolanek nudo nel giardino della Villa e nei viali bionde e brune mozzafiato. Corriere della Sera. 31 May 2009. Retrieved on 31 May 2009.
  27. ^ Photographs show 'naked' Czech ex-PM at Berlusconi's villa[dead link]. Times Online. 6 July 2009.
  28. ^ a b Volební deník: Růžový Topol pomluvil církev i Fischera – Aktuálně.cz
  29. ^ "Czech PM Fischer is weak, ODS head Topolanek says in press". ČTK (Czech Press Agency). 25 March 2010. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  30. ^ a b c d Topolánek se kaje za výroky. Fischer s ním omezí styky – Aktuálně.cz
  31. ^ "Přepis rozhovoru, který Topolánek poskytl časopisu Lui | Domov". Lidovky.cz. 2010-03-21. Retrieved 2017-11-13. 
  32. ^ "Nesestříhaná debata s panem Topolánkem" (in Czech). LUI. 22 March 2010. Archived from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  33. ^ 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. 
  34. ^ http://zpravy.idnes.cz/topolanek-uz-neni-clenem-ods-dg2-/domaci.aspx?c=A150419_133112_domaci_zt#
  35. ^ "Co dělá Topolánek po odchodu z vrcholné politiky? Stal se živnostníkem". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). 6 May 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  36. ^ "Topolánek se vrací k podnikání. Je živnostníkem - Tiscali.cz". Tiscali.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  37. ^ "Pavučiny byznysu: Expremiér Topolánek po odchodu z politiky stále bohatne". HlídacíPes.org (in Czech). 16 September 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  38. ^ "Václav Klaus ml.: Kandidát na prezidenta? Říká si o to Topolánek". Reflex.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  39. ^ "Bomba na obzoru? Mirek Topolánek skutečně zvažuje kandidaturu na Hrad". Parlamentní Listy. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  40. ^ "Topolánek na Hrad? Bývalý premiér usiluje o podpisy senátorů". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  41. ^ "Topolánek: Budu kandidovat na prezidenta". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  42. ^ "Vážný, zkušený kandidát hodnotí politici Topolánkovu kandidaturu". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  43. ^ "Kandidaturu na prezidenta oznámil i Topolánek, ODS mu chystá vyslovit podporu". Lidovky.cz. 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017. 
  44. ^ "ODS podpořila Topolánka v boji o Hrad. Věří, že může narušit mocenský pakt Babiše a Zemana". Info.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  45. ^ "ODS podpořila na Hrad Topolánka, vlastního kandidáta nepostaví". Novinky.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  46. ^ "V prezidentských volbách vlastního zástupce nemáme a ani jsme nikomu nevyjádřili podporu.Sledujeme však kandidaturu Mirka Topolánka. Tím, že kandiduje, jsou ostatní nuceni předvést, co vlastně prosazují. Přestal jim stačit chabý argument, že nejsou stejní jako Miloš Zeman". @svobodni (in Czech). NaN. Retrieved 1 December 2017.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  47. ^ "Nový šéf Svobodných pro INFO.CZ: K referendu o odchodu z EU nedojde, Babiš na tom nemá zájem - Info.cz". Info.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  48. ^ "Topolánek zahájil kampaň. Nechce euro ani uprchlické kvóty, z EU by ale neodešel". Lidovky.cz. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 1 December 2017. 
  49. ^ Schoulová, Petra (16 December 2002). "MIrek Topolánek: Nezměníme ideologii, máme klausismus". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  50. ^ Zlámalová, Lenka (21 October 2017). "ODS mohla zastavit nástup Okamury, míní Topolánek". Echo24.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  51. ^ "Topolánek přednesl projev ostrý jako břitva: Multikulturalismus zabíjí Evropu. Evropské elity zavírají oči. Musíme zakázat politický islám a právo šaría v naší zemi!". Parlamentní Listy. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  52. ^ "Topolanek, leader of Czech ODS, divorces". Czech Press Agency. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  53. ^ "Former PM Topolánek marries Talmanová". Prague Daily Monitor. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010. [permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jiří Paroubek
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
2006–2009
Succeeded by
Jan Fischer
Preceded by
Nicolas Sarkozy
President of the European Council
2009
Party political offices
Preceded by
Václav Klaus
President of the Civic Democratic Party
2002–2010
Succeeded by
Petr Nečas