Friday, 17 August 2018

KDÚ-ČSL can see no progress in cabinet-forming talks with Babiš

ČTK |
25 January 2018

Prague, Jan 24 (CTK) - The Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) will remain in the opposition because the ANO movement insists on its leader, prosecuted Andrej Babis, being Czech prime minister, KDU-CSL leader Pavel Belobradek said after a half-an-hour meeting with ANO representatives on Wednesday.

ANO met the KDU-CSL leaders within the new round of government-forming negotiations that started last week after its minority cabinet lost a confidence vote in parliament and resigned. The parliament has recently released Babis for criminal prosecution over the Capi hnizdo suspected EU subsidy fraud.

ANO declined to meet the KDU-CSL condition that no prosecuted person is among the ministers, Belobradek said.

Along with other democratic parties, the Christian Democrats declared even before the general election last autumn that they would not take part in a government headed by the prosecuted Babis who did not conceal his ambition to be the PM after the election.

Belobradek said the KDU-CSL proposed to ANO that the possible coalition cabinet would not include any of the participating parties, but ANO rejected it.

Babis previously said he considers the best possible solution ANO's minority cabinet or an alliance with the KDU-CSL and the Social Democrats (CSSD) who were its coalition partners in the government of Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) that ruled in 2013-2017.

Belobradek said the KDU-CSL is ready to hold further negotiations but it cannot see any breakthrough on the part of ANO.

He also said the Christian Democrats want to have their dignified role in the possible government guaranteed.

Belobradek said the KDU-CSL does not want to repeat its experience from the coalition government of Jiri Paroubek. Paroubek's CSSD often voted together with the opposition Communists (KSCM) against its coalition partners, the KDU-CSL and Freedom Union (US-DEU), he recalled.

As no other party supported the ANO minority government in the confidence vote in parliament last week, Babis's team had to resign. However, President Milos Zeman, who is defending his post against academic Jiri Drahos in the runoff this weekend, entrusted Babis with trying to form another government.

KDU-CSL deputy chairman Marian Jurecka criticised Zeman for saying he will not insist on Babis proving his future government has a majority support in parliament if he fails to win the presidential runoff.

"President Zeman apparently resigned on the formation of a standard majority government in the Czech Republic. This is an important message for voters before the runoff," Jurecka said.

Belobradek said Zeman seemed to be very unpredictable.

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