Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Mayors and Independents deny confidence in Babiš' cabinet

ČTK |
21 December 2017

Prague, Dec 20 (CTK) - The Mayors and Independents (STAN) will not vote confidence in the minority government of Prime Minister Babis' ANO, as they promised before the October election to the Czech Chamber of Deputies, STAN representatives told journalists on Wednesday.

STAN is against Babis' heading the government since he was released for prosecution by the previous Chamber of Deputies. Now a vote on his new release will take place as he regained parliamentary immunity after his re-election.

Babis and ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek have come under the suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud. They have denied any wrongdoing.

In addition, STAN does not want to be connected with the Communists (KSCM) and the populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), which allied with ANO in order to fill senior posts in the Chamber of Deputies.

"By expressing confidence in this government we would also express no-confidence in the police and the state attorney's office, which would be no good for the rule of law," the chairman of the deputy group of STAN, Jan Farsky, said.

Farsky said their reservations did not relate personally to Babis as they considered it unacceptable for anyone facing criminal prosecution becoming a prime minister.

Babis is trying to muster support for his minority government.

"We are being asked for confidence in the minority government of ANO at the moment it has already gained it somewhere else, as evidenced by the votes in recent weeks," STAN deputy chairman Vit Rakusan said, warning of the collaboration of ANO with KSCM and the SPD in the Chamber of Deputies.

"We will not cover up a project relying on the support of the parties which are unacceptable to us and which we consider extremist," Rakusan said.

On the other hand, STAN is ready to support some government-proposed legislation, provided it corresponds with its manifesto.

STAN leader Petr Gazdik mentioned the civil service law, the education reform and digitisation of the civil service.

The government policy statement is a "mix of praiseworthy aims and populism," Gazdik said.

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