Friday, 17 November 2017

Okamura: SPD, ANO agree on promoting general referendum bill

ČTK |
27 October 2017

Prague, Oct 26 (CTK) - The Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the ANO movement have agreed on promoting a bill on general referendum at their post-election meeting on Thursday, SPD head Tomio Okamura said, adding that ANO plegded to ponder a restriction of asylum for Muslims and a ban on sharia in the Czech Republic.

Like previously with the Communists (KSCM), the SPD agreed with ANO, the winner of the October 20-21 general election, on a plan to prepare a general referendum bill, though they differed on the bill's parameters, Okamura said.

He said the SPD and ANO will meet again on Tuesday.

The intensity of bilateral talks indicates that his SPD's programme might be successfully implemented.

"We did not discuss forming a coalition today, and the SPD's support for a [ANO] minority government is not at issue either," Okamura said yesterday.

According to him, ANO negotiators said ANO wants to support a bill on general referendum.

"It is necessary to discuss its parameters. [ANO leader] Andrej Babis told us ANO's idea of the quorum required for holding a referendum is higher. He want it higher than 250,000 people..., with which we disagree," Okamura said.

Nevertheless, ANO's consent to the planned bill is important, he said, adding that the KSCM, too, promised to support it, and only five more lawmakers are needed for the bill to make it through.

In the general election, ANO gained 78 seats in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies. The SPD fared fourth with 22 seats and the KSCM fifth with 15 seats.

Okamura said ANO showed readiness to work together with the SPD on restricting the granting of asylum to Muslims.

In reaction to our third proposal, the ban on the promotion of jihad and sharia, ANO seemed to ponder it, he said.

"It seems to us that a legislative progress in this respect might be made," Okamura said.

Another plan the SPD and ANO have in common is a fundamental change to the system of distraints and help for people in a debt trap, he continued, adding that ANO also supported the idea of transferring welfare benefits from those who shun work to the working families.

Okamura confirmed that the SPD will support ANO's candidate Radek Vondracek for the post of Chamber of Deputies chairman.

Speaking to journalists, Vondracek said ANO respects the SPD's right to occupy a post of one of the Chamber's deputy chairpersons and that the post may go to Okamura, whom the SPD has nominated.

ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek said the talks on Thursday focused on common denominators in the two parties' programmes.

"Before the elections, we said we will not form a government with the SPD and the KSCM, and we insist on it. We did not discuss [forming] a government or [the SPD's] support for a government today," Faltynek said.

He positively reacted to some parties' demand that the lower house bodies in charge of supervising secret services be headed by opposition deputies.

The ANO-SPD meeting started the second round of the victorious ANO's post-election negotiations. ANO now wants its partners to submit their proposals for the parties' filling of posts in lower house committees, Faltynek said.

He said ANO might be interested in heading the budget committee.

The SPD previously said it wants the seat of the security committee chairman.

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