Sunday, 19 November 2017

Zeman preferring minority government

ČTK |
31 October 2017

Lany, Central Bohemia, Oct 30 (CTK) - Czech President Milos Zeman prefers a minority government as he cannot see any chance of forming a stable majority government, Zeman told Czech Radio (CRo) on Monday.

On Tuesday, Zeman wants to assign Andrej Babis, leader of ANO, to conduct talks on the creation of a new government.

Babis has announced he wants to form a minority government.

"No. I would not wish this," Zeman replied to the question of how to reach a stable majority government.

Differences in the programmes of the coalition parties could "derange each other." "Our government might eventually do nothing. This is a danger not threatening in a one-colour government," he added.

Babis has three chances to form a government. Under the constitution, the president himself names the prime minister twice if a government is formed and for the third time, he does so at the proposal of the chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Zeman said.

"I will certainly not obstruct Babis," he added.

Zeman said he believed the government would be formed before the presidential election, which means before January 12.

There is the question of whether the government will gain confidence of the Chamber of Deputies, he said.

Zeman said the Chamber of Deputies should be headed by a representative of ANO because it won the election.

ANO has proposed to the post Radek Vondracek, while the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) insists on its leader Petr Fiala.

Zeman said due to the result of the vote, the ODS should only have the post of deputy chairman of the lower house.

Some parties have said they would only enter the government if Babis and ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek were not in it. Their prosecution over an EU subsidy fraud was interrupted after their election to the Chamber of Deputies.

Zeman ruled out the option that he would abolish their prosecution.

He said the Social Democrats, who were routed in the election, would be helped if the party leadership were changed.

"There is the hope that one can always rise from 8 percent to 32 percent," Zeman said.

Zeman said it was necessary for the Social Democrats to elect a new leader and party board, which included chairpersons of its regional branches.

Zeman went on to comment on the possible candidacy of Tomio Okamura, leader of the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) for president.

He said Okamura would get some 10 percent of the vote at his expense, without becoming the president himself.

ANO won the general election with 29.6 percent, followed by the ODS with 11.3 percent and the Pirates with 10.8 percent of the vote.

Another six parties also entered the Chamber of Deputies: SPD with 10.6 percent, the Communists (KSCM) with 7.8 percent, the CSSD with 7.3 percent, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) with 5.8 percent, TOP 09 with 5.3 percent and the Mayors and Independents (STAN) with 5.2 percent.

ANO will have 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house, the ODS 25, the SPD and the Pirates 22 each, the KSCM and the CSSD 15 each, the KDU-CSL ten, TOP 09 seven and STAN six.

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