Thursday, 18 October 2018

MfD: Babiš wants to have new government by end of February

ČTK |
19 January 2018

Prague, Jan 18 (CTK) - Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) wants his new government to be appointed by President Milos Zeman even if he is defeated by Jiri Drahos in the second round of the presidential election, while the cabinet should be formed by the end of February, Babis told the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Babis's minority government resigned.

Zeman has said he would name again Babis as the prime minister, but this time on condition that he will gain the support of a majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

Babis's government stepped down five weeks after it was appointed, reacting to the Chamber of Deputies not voting confidence in it on Tuesday. It was only backed by the deputies from ANO itself.

Babis repeated in the interview that it was up to Zeman whether he will be given the second try.

"However, if we get it, we cannot wait for long. We must have it cleared up somehow beforehand," he added.

Babis must gain 101 votes in the 200-member lower house.

This is why ANO negotiated with the Social Democrats on Wednesday and it is about to meet the anti-European and anti-Islam Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) this evening.

Babis said he would hurry with the forming of the government.

"It is hard to say until when, perhaps until the end of February, if it succeeds," he added.

Babis admits in the interview that if Zeman did not win the election, Drahos would hardly appoint him as the prime minister.

"This may usher in a destabilisation and crisis," he added.

"I do not know what the position of ANO would be. If he (Drahos) says that I should not be there and ANO may insist on my being there. This might really cause a political crisis," Babis said.

When asked who might replace him, Babis replied that there were lots of competent people in ANO, but none of them wanted to become the prime minister.

"However, there is a number of alternatives," he added.

The police have asked the Chamber of Deputies to release Babis for prosecution over an EU subsidy fraud. The rest of the parties insist on their opposition to have a criminally prosecuted prime minister.

The new president, to arise from the second round of the presidential election, will be inaugurated in early March.

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