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abuse of power


Monica Lewinsky has said her relationship with former President Bill Clinton constituted a “gross abuse of power” on his part.

The former White House intern was 22 when she became romantically involved with the then president, who was 27 years her senior.

Monica Lewinsky has written an article for Vanity Fair magazine, reflecting on events after the #MeToo movement.

She also revealed that she was diagnosed with PTSD after the scandal.

The condition was caused by being “publicly outed and ostracized” as the affair unraveled in the press and courts, Monica Lewinsky says.

News of Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton’s relationship dominated the US news agenda in 1998 and 1999, after the president initially denied it before admitting to “inappropriate intimate physical contact” with the former White House intern.

House Republicans then started impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, arguing he had lied to federal investigators. That effort eventually failed, and Bill Clinton remained in power until 2001.

Image source Wikimedia

Monica Lewinsky is back as Vancouver TED 2015 speaker

Monica Lewinsky Vanity Fair article: “I deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton”

Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton relationship: Hillary Clinton’s letters to Diane Blair

Monica Lewinsky, now 44, says she stands by her 2014 comments that their relationship was consensual, but muses about the “vast power differentials” that existed between the two.

She says she had “limited understanding of the consequences” at the time, and regrets the affair daily.

The former White House intern wrote: “The dictionary definition of “consent”? To give permission for something to happen.”

“And yet what did the ‘something’ mean in this instance, given the power dynamics, his position, and my age?…He was my boss. He was the most powerful man on the planet. He was 27 years my senior, with enough life experience to know better.”

In the Vanity Fair essay, Monica Lewinsky also discusses the growing movement of women publicly speaking out against harassment and assault.

China’s former Ministry of Public Security Zhou Yongkang has been jailed for life after being found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and “intentionally disclosing national secrets”, Xinhua news agency reports.

Zhou Yongkang – the most senior politician to face corruption charges under Communist rule.

Until his retirement in 2012, Zhou Yongkang was one of China’s most powerful men.

Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation one year later as part of President Xi Jinping’s major anti-corruption campaign.

State TV showed a clip of Zhou Yongkang, 72, pleading guilty at a closed-door trial in the northern city of Tianjin. When responding to the judge, he said he would not launch an appeal.

Zhou Yongkang said: “I’ve realized the harm I’ve caused to the party and the people. I plead guilty and I regret my crimes.”

He was tried behind closed doors on May 22 because the case involved state secrets, Xinhua agency reports. There was no public announcement until the conviction was reported on June 11.Zhou Yongkang sentenced to life in prison

In a breakdown of the ruling, Xinhua reports that Zhou Yongkang received a life sentence for accepting bribes worth 130 million yuan ($21.3 million), seven years for abuse of power and four years for “deliberately releasing state secrets”.

All political rights have been stripped and his property confiscated, the news agency added.

Zhou Yongkang was charged in April, nine months after a formal investigation was announced.

He has since been expelled from the Communist Party.

Zhou Yongkang was once head of the Ministry of Public Security, as well as a member of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee.

It is the first time such a senior Chinese figure has been convicted of corruption since the Communist Party came to power in 1949.

President Xi Jinping vowed to end endemic corruption when he came to power in 2012.

Since then, a number of Zhou Yongkang’s former associates from his time working in the oil industry and as Communist Party chief in Sichuan province have been investigated or prosecuted as part of Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.

The Xinhua report did not refer to Bo Xilai, a former protégé of Zhou Yongkang’s and former Chongqing Communist Party chief, who is currently in prison on charges linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.

Zhou Yongkang, who oversaw China’s security apparatus and law enforcement institutions, has been charged with bribery, abuse of power and the intentional disclosure of state secrets, state media report.

The former security chief was, until his retirement in 2012, one of China’s most powerful men.

Zhou Yongkang headed the Ministry of Public Security and was a member of China’s top decision-making body.

Once Xi Jinping took over as president in 2013, however, Zhou Yongkang was put under investigation.

A formal probe was announced in July 2014, after months of rumors, and he has since been expelled from the Communist Party.

Zhou Yongkang’s case had been sent to a court in Tianjin, a northern port city, Xinhua news agency reported.Zhou Yongkang charged

The head of China’s top court said last month he would have an “open trial”, though no date has been announced.

In a brief statement, China’s top prosecution body said that the allegations against Zhou Yongkang were “extraordinarily severe”.

“The defendant Zhou Yongkang… took advantage of his posts to seek gains for others and illegally took huge property and assets from others, abused his power, causing huge losses to public property and the interests of the state and the people,” the statement said.

Zhou Yongkang, who is in his 70s, is the most senior official to be targeted in decades.

He was previously one of nine members of China’s highest organ, the Politburo Standing Committee. It has since shrunk to seven members.

Zhou Yongkang has not been seen in public since late 2013, when rumors of a probe first emerged.

A number of his former associates from his time both in the oil industry and as Communist Party chief in Sichuan province are already being investigated or prosecuted as part of Xi Jinping’s corruption crackdown.

Zhou Yongkang’s former protégé, former Chongqing Communist Party chief and high-flyer Bo Xilai, is currently in prison on charges linked to his wife’s murder of a British businessman.

Analysts say the investigation into Zhou Yongkang allows Xi Jinping – who took office as president in March 2013 – to consolidate his power base, remove people opposed to his reforms and improve the image of the Communist Party.

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Texas Governor Rick Perry has been booked at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin, for two felony indictments of abuse of power on August 19.

Rick Perry told dozens of cheering supporters outside the Texas courthouse that he would “fight this injustice with every fiber of my being”.

Showing no hint of worry on his face, Rick Perry flashed a thin, confident grin beneath perfect hair in his mug shot. He then headed to a nearby Austin eatery for ice cream, even gleefully documenting his excursion via Twitter.

The Republican, who is mulling a second presidential run in 2016, was indicted after carrying out a threat to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors. He has dismissed the case a political ploy, and supporters chanting his last name and holding signs greeted him upon arriving at a Travis County Courthouse in Austin.

“I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. And we will prevail,” Rick Perry said before walking inside the building, where he set off a metal detector but didn’t break stride, heading straight to a first-floor office to have his fingerprints taken and stand for the mug shot. In it he’s wearing a blue tie but shed the glasses that have become something of his trademark in recent months.

The longest-serving governor in Texas history was indicted last week for coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit, which investigates wrongdoing by elected officials and is run by the Travis County district attorney’s office. Rick Perry threatened the veto if the county’s Democratic district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, stayed in office after a drunken driving conviction.

Showing no hint of worry on his face, Rick Perry flashed a thin, confident grin beneath perfect hair in his mug shot

Showing no hint of worry on his face, Rick Perry flashed a thin, confident grin beneath perfect hair in his mug shot (photo Austin Police Department)

Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign and Rick Perry carried out the veto, drawing an ethics complaint from a left-leaning government watchdog group.

Rick Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Austin, a liberal bastion in otherwise mostly fiercely conservative Texas.

“I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal, but right,” Rick Perry told supporters before heading inside the building located just steps from the governor’s mansion.

In less than 10 minutes, Rick Perry was outside again, telling those assembled that he was confident in the rule of law.

“We don’t resolve political disputes or policy differences by indictments,” he said.

“We don’t criminalize policy disagreements. We will prevail. We will prevail.”

If convicted on both counts, Rick Perry could face a maximum 109 years in prison – though legal experts across the political spectrum have said the case against him may be a tough sell to a jury. No one disputes that Rick Perry has the right to veto any measures passed by the state Legislature, including any parts of the state budget.

However, the complaint against Rick Perry alleges that by publicly threatening a veto and trying to force Rosemary Lehmberg to resign, he coerced her. The Republican judge assigned to the case has assigned a San Antonio-based special prosecutor who insists the case is stronger than it may outwardly appear.

Rick Perry has hired a team of high-powered attorneys, who are being paid with state funds to defend him.

Top Republicans have been especially quick to defend the governor, though, since a jail video following Rosemary Lehmberg’s April 2013 arrest showed the district attorney badly slurring her words, shouting at staffers to call the sheriff, kicking the door of her cell, and sticking her tongue out. Rosemary Lehmberg’s blood alcohol level was also three times the legal limit for driving.

Rick Perry is the first Texas governor to be indicted since 1917.

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Texas Governor Rick Perry has vowed to fight an indictment against him for abuse of power, which he dismissed as a “farce”.

The indictment “amounts to nothing more than an abuse of power… I cannot and will not allow that to happen,” Rick Perry said.

Rick Perry, 63, faces two counts of abuse of power and coercion over a funding veto he imposed last year, seen as a bid to force a local prosecutor to resign.

The possible Republican presidential hopeful has denied any wrong-doing.

A grand jury indicted Governor Rick Perry on Friday after months of investigation into his motivations for cutting funds amounting to $7.5 million to a state anti-corruption unit run by District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Special prosecutor Michael McCrum said there was evidence Governor Rick Perry had threatened to withhold funding unless Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, resigned over DUI charges.

Rick Perry dismissed the indictment against him as a farce

Rick Perry dismissed the indictment against him as a farce (photo rickperry.org)

The indictment said Governor Rick Perry “intentionally or knowingly misused government property…with intent to harm another” namely, Rosemary Lehmberg and the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

Rick Perry defended his decision on Saturday, saying he had “exercised this authority to veto funding for an office whose leadership had lost the public’s confidence by acting inappropriately and unethically”.

“I wholeheartedly and unequivocally stand behind my veto, and I’ll continue to defend this lawful action of my executive authority as governor.

“I intend to fight against those who would erode our state’s constitution and laws, purely for political purposes, and I intend to win,” Rick Perry told reporters.

Rick Perry is the longest-serving governor in the state’s history and Texas’s first indicted governor in nearly a century.

Prosecutor Michael McCrum called up numerous witnesses to argue his case that the governor had broken the law.

The Texans for Public Justice, which filed a complaint in the case, said “the grand jury decided Perry’s bullying crossed the line into law breaking”.

Abuse of office can carry punishments of between five to 99 years in prison, while coercion of a public servant carries sentences ranging from two to 10 years.

His recent movements between key Republican battleground states is seen by analysts as laying the groundwork for a possible presidential run in 2016.

Rick Perry announced that he would retire from the Texas governor’s office instead of seeking a fourth term in July 2013.

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Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra has appeared before the Constitutional Court in Bangkok to defend herself against allegations of abuse of power.

The complaint was filed by senators who said Yingluck Shinawatra’s party benefited from improperly transferring her national security chief in 2011.

Yingluck Shinawatra could be removed from office and banned from politics for five years if found guilty.

Thailand has seen deadlock since anti-government protests began in 2013.

Yingluck Shinawatra could be removed from office and banned from politics for five years if found guilty of abuse of power

Yingluck Shinawatra could be removed from office and banned from politics for five years if found guilty of abuse of power

The protesters, who are mainly urban and middle class, want Yingluck Shianwatra’s government replaced by an unelected “people’s council”.

In response, Yingluck Shinawatra called a snap election in February which she was expected to win, but this was disrupted by the protesters and subsequently annulled.

The prime minister is also facing several legal challenges.

Earlier this year, a different court ruled that Yingluck Shinawatra had improperly transferred national security chief Thawil Pliensri in 2011.

Thawil Pliensri has since been reinstated, although he was originally appointed by the previous administration and has been openly critical of Yingluck Shinawatra’s government.

The Constitutional Court will decide whether his transfer violated the constitution.

“I deny the allegation… I didn’t violate any laws, I didn’t receive any benefit from the appointment,” Yingluck Shinawatra told the court on Tuesday.

She added that replacing Thawil Pliensri was for Thailand’s benefit.

Yingluck Shinawatra also faces charges of negligence over a government rice subsidy scheme which critics say was rife with corruption.

Her supporters believe the top courts are biased against her and the cases are an attempt by the elite to force her from office.

Last week, Yingluck Shinawatra’s government announced fresh polls on July 20, but the opposition has rejected the date.

Chinese politician Bo Xilai has been found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to life imprisonment having the right to appeal.

Bo Xilai had denied all the charges against him in a fiery defense at his trial.

The former party chief of Chongqing was removed from office last year amid a scandal which saw his wife Gu Kailai convicted for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.

The verdict was handed down by the Intermediate People’s Court in Jinan, Shandong province.

Passing sentence the judge told Bo Xilai that he had damaged China’s national interests and the interests of its people, wrongfully using his position in power to receive bribes totalling 20 million Chinese Yuan ($3.2 million).

The judge rejected Bo Xilai’s claims that his confession to the crimes was acquired through illegal means such as torture and interrogation, and said it therefore stood.

During Bo Xilai’s trial last month the court took the unprecedented step of releasing details about proceedings on its Weibo microblog.

Bo Xilai was sentenced to life in prison on the bribery charges, 15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power. In addition all his personal wealth has been confiscated.

He has 10 days to appeal against his sentence and conviction, but correspondents say that any such move is highly unlikely to be successful.

Bo Xilai has been found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to life imprisonment

Bo Xilai has been found guilty of bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power and sentenced to life imprisonment

Although his trial was conducted under an unprecedented degree of openness for China, many analysts say that the guilty verdict was always a foregone conclusion – and many see the process against him as having a very strong political dimension.

Prosecutors had said that Bo Xilai accepted the bribes and embezzled public funds from Dalian, where he used to be mayor.

Bo Xilai was also accused of abusing his office by using his position to cover up for his wife Gu Kailai, convicted last year of murdering Neil Heywood in 2011.

In lengthy comments in court, he said he did not illegally obtain millions of dollars or cover up Neil Heywood’s killing.

He also dismissed the testimony of two key witnesses, describing his wife’s statement as “ridiculous” and his former police chief Wang Lijun’s testimony as “full of lies and fraud”.

Bo Xilai’s fall from power was triggered when Wang sought refuge in the US consulate in Chengdu in February 2012.

The incident prompted an investigation into the death of Neil Heywood. Wang Lijun has since been jailed for 15 years for helping Gu Kailai cover up the murder.

The Bo Xilai scandal triggered a crisis in the Communist Party, which was about to hold its once-in-a-decade leadership handover, and revealed divisions at the top of the party over how Bo should be handled.

Two years ago Bo Xilai was seen as a candidate for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top decision-making body.

His downfall was seen as the biggest political shake-up to hit China’s ruling elite in decades.

Bo Xilai’s trial also offered the public a rare glimpse into the life of China’s rich and powerful, with lurid details emerging of lavish vacations and luxury villas.

Earlier this week, an overseas-based dissident Chinese news website published a letter allegedly written by Bo Xilai in prison on September 12.

Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post said that unidentified insiders with close ties to Bo Xilai had confirmed that the letter, addressed to Bo’s family, was genuine.

“I am an innocent victim and I feel wronged,” the letter read.

“But I believe one day truth will prevail…I will wait quietly in jail for that day to come.”

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Bo Xilai has accused his ex-police chief Wang Lijun of lying over allegations of abuse of power.

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai launched a scathing attack on Wang Lijun, his former associate in the central city of Chongqing, saying his testimony was “full of lies and fraud”.

The trial, in its fourth day in the city on Jinan, was later adjourned until Monday.

Bo Xilai, a former Communist Party chief in Chongqing, denies wrongdoing.

The scandals involving Bo Xilai’s family have captivated the country.

Many analysts assume the outcome of the trial has been predetermined with a guilty verdict, however, observers say Bo Xilai has put up a spirited defense.

Foreign media are not allowed into the trial, but the court in the eastern city of Jinan has been posting regular updates on China’s micro-blogging site Weibo (in Mandarin).

On Saturday the trial focused on accusations that Bo Xilai covered up the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in 2011.

Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai, has already been convicted of murdering Neil Heywood.

Former police chief Wang Lijun testified against Bo Xilai on Saturday

Former police chief Wang Lijun testified against Bo Xilai on Saturday

Wang Lijun had been a key figure in court on Saturday, testifying that Bo Xilai had punched him after he told the politician his wife was responsible for the death of Neil Heywood

But Bo Xilai told the court on Sunday: “His character is extremely bad, he created rumors… and threw dust in the public’s eyes.

“It’s beneath legal credibility to present such a person as a key witness. Wang Lijun was lying during the trial and his testimony was not valid at all. His testimony was full of lies and fraud.”

He added: “He said I hit him with my fist instead of slapping him in the face. But the truth is I never learned the technique of Chinese boxing so I wouldn’t be able to have that power.”

On Saturday, Bo Xilai acknowledged he made “serious errors of judgement” but that the charges against him were “exaggerated”.

The abuse of office charge stems from accusations that Bo Xilai knew and covered up the fact that his wife murdered Neil Heywood.

Bo Xilai told the court he had discussed the accusations with her, and his wife told him that she was being framed for the murder.

He also described two difficult meetings he had with Wang Lijun on 28 and 29 January 2012.

Days after this confrontation, Wang Lijun fled to a US consulate to seek asylum, and the scandal became public knowledge.

Wang Lijun has already stood trial for his own actions and been jailed for 15 years, for defection, power abuse and bribe-taking.

Gu Kailai has also testified against her husband. On Friday, Bo Xilai described his wife as “insane” because she had implicated him in corruption.

She claimed that wealthy Chinese entrepreneur Xu Ming bought gifts for the family in order to gain favors.

Bo Xilai is also accused of embezzling 5 million yuan ($800,000) in 2000 which had been earmarked for a construction project in Dalian. Bo Xilai was the city’s mayor in the 1990s.

But at Saturday’s hearing Bo Xilai blamed his wife Gu Kailai for this, saying he had no knowledge that she had taken the money until later on.

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Chinese politician Bo Xilai has gone on trial on charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power.

The former Chongqing Communist Party leader once tipped for the highest office is accused of accepting money from two businessmen, the court said. Bo Xilai has so far denied one charge.

The abuse of power charge relates to his wife’s role in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, the court said.

Bo Xilai’s trial is China’s most politically-charged in decades.

Two years ago the 64-year-old high-flier was seen as a candidate for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s seven-member top decision-making body.

But in February 2012, as China prepared for its once-in-a-decade leadership handover, questions emerged over the death of Neil Heywood.

Bo Xilai’s wife, Gu Kailai, has since been convicted of Neil Heywood’s murder. Bo Xilai faces multiple charges and is widely expected to be found guilty.

His downfall was seen as the biggest political shake-up to hit China’s ruling elite in decades.

The trial – which started at 08:30 – is taking place at the Intermediate People’s Court in Jinan, which is in Shandong province. The court is providing an account of proceedings on its official microblog.

“I hope the judge will try this case fairly and justly according to the law of the country,” Bo Xilai reportedly said.

Five of Bo Xilai’s relatives are said to be in court, along with 19 journalists and 84 other people. Foreign journalists have not been allowed in.

Bo Xilai has gone on trial on charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power

Bo Xilai has gone on trial on charges of bribery, corruption and abuse of power

According to the indictment posted by the court, Bo Xilai is accused of receiving bribes totalling 21.8 million yuan ($3.56 million) from two Dalian-based businessmen.

The court microblog quoted Bo Xilai as saying about one of the cases: “That Tang Xiaolin gave me three bribes – that did not happen. He asked me to help him sort out something, and these were all done according to procedure.”

Bo Xilai said he had admitted this “against his will” under questioning, adding: “What I meant was that I was willing to take the legal responsibility but I had no idea of all these details back then.”

The abuse of power charge is connected to his wife’s role in Neil Heywood’s murder and his treatment of Wang Lijun, his now-jailed former police chief whose flight to the US consulate brought the case out into the open, the court indictment said.

Hearings would last two days, CCTV said in a tweet, with a verdict “likely in early September”.

Security was tight at the court, with police blocking the gates and lining roads leading up to it.

As party leader in Chongqing, Bo Xilai was seen as a powerful, populist and charismatic figure.

He was known for two high-profile campaigns: a large-scale crackdown on crime and a drive to promote China’s old communist values. But analysts said his ambition earned him enemies and he was considered controversial by top party leaders.

In February 2012, around the time that China was preparing to promote a new generation of leaders, his police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to the US consulate in Chengdu amid an apparent fall-out with Bo Xilai.

Shortly afterwards, Chinese authorities announced that they were reinvestigating the death of Neil Heywood, and both Bo Xilai and his wife disappeared from public view.

Gu Kailai has since been jailed for the murder of Neil Heywood – a crime she carried out, state media say, because of differences over a business deal. Wang has also been jailed for his role in covering up events, among other charges.

Bo Xilai is the last major player in connection with the case to face trial. Interest has been intense, with many Chinese microbloggers speaking out.

Most expressed skepticism about the proceedings, judging the trial merely a political show. Nevertheless a large number still believe Bo Xilai has a case to answer when it comes to corruption and abuse of power.

Herkuang in Shanghai says: “This Bo Xilai trial thing is merely a procedural thing. Those [party] elders have already made up their minds on what to sentence him with… Just watch the end result.”

But some of comments about Bo Xilai and his alleged conduct were dripping with sarcasm. “What a clean official! Just one count of bribe-taking in 30 years as a civil servant?” Li Zhiqiang, law lecturer at Lanzhou University, said.

Other internet users were more complimentary, however. One user, “Small Town Girl”, said ahead of the trial: “Looking at him from a rational perspective, he made contributions to the people of Dalian and Chongqing.”

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Czech PM Petr Necas has announced that he will resign on Monday after days of political turmoil.

Petr Necas’ ruling coalition will try to form a new government led by someone nominated by his Civic Democratic Party (ODS).

Pressure had been growing on Petr Necas to quit since prosecutors on Friday charged his chief of staff Jana Nagyova with corruption and abuse of power.

Two former MPs, an ex-minister and the current and former heads of military intelligence have also been detained.

All except one have been remanded in custody.

President Milos Zeman has said the charges, brought after armed police raids on government and private offices on Wednesday, are “serious”.

Up to 150 million koruna ($8 million) in cash, tens of kilograms of gold and large quantities of documents were seized during the raids.

Detectives have said Jana Nagyova was suspected of bribing the former MPs with offers of posts in state-owned firms. It is alleged this was in exchange for them giving up their parliamentary seats.

Jana Nagyova – a close colleague of Petr Necas for nearly a decade – is also suspected of illegally ordering military intelligence to spy on three people.

Czech PM Petr Necas will resign over Jana Nagyova corruption and spying scandal

Czech PM Petr Necas will resign over Jana Nagyova corruption and spying scandal

Czech media reported that the targets included Petr Necas’s wife, Radka Necasova.

Petr Necas announced this week that they were divorcing.

The prime minister has rejected all the accusations against Jana Nagyova and the other five accused, saying: “I am personally convinced that I did not do anything dishonest and that my colleagues have not done anything dishonest either.”

However, Petr Necas told a televised briefing in Prague when announcing his resignation on Sunday evening: “I am aware of my political responsibility.”

“I will tender my resignation as prime minister tomorrow.” he said. “The entire government will therefore resign with me.”

The opposition Social Democrats had warned they would press for a no-confidence motion in parliament unless Petr Necas stepped down, and the two other parties in his centre-right coalition had signaled that they could no longer support him.

The prime minister said the coalition would try to form a new government, led by a different person, to rule until elections scheduled for June 2014. He is expected to stay on as caretaker until it is installed.

Under the Czech constitution, President Milos Zeman – a political rival – is under no obligation to respect the coalition’s wishes, and could name his own candidate to head an interim government until early elections are held,

Petr Necas also said on Sunday he would resign as his party’s chairman.

“I am fully aware how the twists and turns of my personal life are burdening the Czech political scene and the Civic Democratic Party,” he told the briefing.

The admission is the closest the prime minister has come to confirming that the woman at the heart of this scandal – Jana Nagyova – is more than just a colleague.

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