Saturday, 17 November 2018

Zeman for ANO gov't, backed by Social Democrats, Communists

ČTK |
22 January 2018

Prague, Jan 21 (CTK) - President Milos Zeman prefers a minority government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO ) with the support of Social Democrats and Communists or Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), Zeman told the commercial television station Nova on Sunday.

It is up to ANO, which won the October election, whether to choose Babis as the prime minister even in the second try at forming the government.

Opposition parties do not want Babis to be the prime minister since he was released for prosecution by the Chamber of Deputies over an EU subsidy fraud.

On Wednesday, Babis's one-party government resigned after it was not voted confidence by the lower house.

Zeman has several times repeated that he would entrust Babis again with forming the government, but this time he must first have a majority in the Chamber of Deputies.

Zeman also dismissed the idea that he might call an early election if the tries to form the government fail.

He repeated that politicians should be playing with the cards dealt by voters and if they cannot do so, they are incompetent.

Zeman said calling an early election a few months after the regular election, held last October, would be an offense to voters.

Zeman said he considered the fall of the Social Democrats to their worst election result of just over 7 percent one of the worst moments of his presidential term.

Zeman was a Social Democrat in the first part of his career.

Zeman stressed that it was him who, as the prime minister, had led the Czech Republic to NATO in 1999, who was preparing the Czech Republic's joining the EU, and when he was elected the president, he hoisted an EU flag at the Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech head of state.

He said the argument that he "was pushing" the Czech Republic to the East was an arrogant and stupid lie.

Zeman was speaking in a programme that was supposed to be the first presidential debate. However, his rival Jiri Drahos did not appear there as he is only ready to take part in two next debates.

The second round of the presidential election takes place on January 26-27.

The commercial television station Prima and the public broadcaster Czech Television (CT) will hold two presidential debates with the participation of Zeman and Drahos on Tuesday and Thursday.

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