Brno Mayor Vankova Still Has Support of Governing Coalition Following Leak of Controversial Photo
Vankova and Deputy Mayor Robert Kerndl (ODS) both took drug tests and tested negative. Credit: Unknown.
Brno, Aug 9 (CTK) – The coalition governing Brno will continue unchanged, after each party expressed their support for Brno Mayor Marketa Vankova (ODS) following the leak of a photo showing the mayor with some “white powder”, a representative for the coalition told journalists today.
Vankova took a drug test and tested negative, as did Brno Deputy Mayor Robert Kerndl (ODS), who also appeared in the controversial photo.
The police have contacted Vankova and she has already given an explanation, but she does not want to make any further comments to the media on the matter.
Kerndl has not yet been approached by the police.
Both Vankova and Kerndl expressed regret that the photo had shown them, the coalition, and the city in a bad light.
They admitted that two or three years ago, while returning from a social event in the evening, they had ended up in a situation where the photo could have been taken. However, they do not remember the details, they added, which is why Vankova initially claimed that the picture was a photo montage. Only later did someone remind her of the situation.
When asked directly, Kerndl said he did not consume hard drugs, but admitted he was “no saint.”
The picture, which has been circulating on the Internet for more than a week, shows Vankova and her deputy Kerndl with someone else holding out what appears to be a roll of paper and a cell phone with lines of white powder on the screen. However, the date of the photo is unknown, and it is also unclear whether there are more such photos or if the photo is part of video footage.
The investigative website Neovlivni.cz has suggested that the release of the photo is an effort to compromise Vankova, related to a large contract with the Brno municipal company SAKO.
The Brno coalition parties’ leaders expressed support for their ODS partners.
According to Deputy Mayor Rene Cerny (ANO), Vankova is a professional.
Irena Matonohova, representing the Mayors and Independents (STAN), stressed that she appreciates the way the coalition works and that results are important.
The ruling coalition at the Brno City Hall, which has a comfortable majority, consists of representatives of the ODS, TOP 09, ANO, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), STAN and the Social Democrats (SOCDEM), while the Pirates, Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) with Tricolour, the Greens and Zit Brno are in opposition.