Pavel criticises government communication – but is he right?

Photo: Kateřina Šulová, ČTK

President Petr Pavel has repeatedly said this week that Petr Fiala’s coalition government is poor in communication with the public, echoing a commonly heard assertion. But is the head of state correct on this point? I spoke to political scientist Jiří Pehe.

“I’m afraid that President Pavel is right, because the government really does not communicate well with the public.

“There are some steps that would really need much more explaining, if the government wants to convince the public that its policies are correct.

“But unfortunately what we see is that individual ministers quite often make statements about particular steps which are not coordinated with the rest of the government.

“Then we often see that other ministers often criticise those proposals – and that creates a lot of confusion in the public.

“It seems to me that the main problem is a certain lack of leadership on the level of the prime minister.

“Mr. Fiala was very productive and very good during the big international crises of 2022, but he has sort of disappeared in the last few weeks.”

It this poor coordination within the cabinet, as you see it, in part at least due to the fact it’s a five-party coalition?

“Yes. Unfortunately this current coalition suffers from what could have been expected, and that it is that consists of too many parties, which, on top of that, are not really ideologically on the same wavelength, so to speak.

“On the one hand we have conservatives, such as the Civic Democratic Party and the Christian Democrats, and on the other we have progressivists in the form of the Pirates.”

Author: Ian Willoughby