Monday, 22 October 2018

Fiala: Babiš's idea of ODS experts joining his gov't is absurd

1 November 2017

Prague, Oct 31 (CTK) - Czech Civic Democrat (ODS) head Petr Fiala considers the election-winning ANO chairman Andrej Babis's idea of ODS experts joining ANO's planned minority government absurd and politically incredible, he said after a meeting of the two parties' post-election negotiators on Tuesday.

The ANO, which won the October 20-21 election with almost 30 percent of the vote, and the ODS, which ended second with 11.3 percent, each continue promoting its own candidate for lower house chairman.

Last weekend, Babis said he will offer a share in the government to other parties along with a partial fulfilment of their respective programmes.

He recently mentioned ODS lawmakers Vaclav Klaus Jr. and Jana Cernochova as experts in education and defence, respectively, on Prima TV.

Afterwards, he told journalists that he mentioned the two as an example, but does not plan to start negotiations about their participation in an ANO-led cabinet.

"Something like that is absurd and totally politically unimaginable... it is simply absolutely out of the question. I think Mr Babis knows this well," Fiala said.

He called Babis's words a bad joke and admitted that Babis might have tried to split the ODS. "I assure you, he will not succeed," he added.

The ODS negotiators told their ANO counterparts on Tuesday that besides Fiala's nomination for Chamber of Deputies chairman, the ODS will also seek the chairmanship of four committees in the newly elected lower house of parliament.

ANO promotes its lawmaker Radek Vondracek for lower house head.

Fiala said on Tuesday's meeting focused exclusively on the lower house's setup.

"We really discussed only organisational affairs and plans such as how many members individual committees should have. Parties' programmes were not on the agenda," Fiala said.

The ODS deputy group agreed that Klaus Jr. should head the education committee in the Chamber of Deputies and Cernochova the security or defence committees, while Marek Benda would head the constitutional and legal committee and Miroslava Nemcova the election committee.

"These nominations were passed unanimously," Fiala said.

In the afternoon, the ODS will have talks with TOP 09 about its chairman Miroslav Kalousek's appeal on parties to prevent the formation of an ANO minority cabinet by failing to elect the chairman of the lower house, thus blocking its operation.

The ODS proposed Fiala to compete with Vondracek for the post of the lower house head.

The ODS refused to comment on Kalousek's proposal before the meeting with TOP 09.

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