A major defeat in this weekend’s elections has left the Czech Republic’s coalition government teetering and Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek under growing pressure to resign and hold new national elections, but it has also put the unpopular US radar station in serious jeopardy.
Residents near the proposed site have been protesting its construction for months, and polls show the Czech people strongly against it, but the center-right government pressed on in spite of this. The government has insisted that the radar, part of a US missile defense system, would be a national security boon. The populace seems reluctant to make themselves a potential battleground in the growing tension between the US and Russia.
And now, with the leftist opposition gaining significantly in the recent election and the prospect of a new national election looming large, public opinion on the site will be increasingly hard to ignore. The ruling party expects to win the preliminary vote in the lower house, but the final vote, expected sometime in December, is too close to call at the moment.