Tuesday, 22 May 2018

ODS insists on neither joining nor tolerating Babiš's government

ČTK |
25 January 2018

Prague, Jan 24 (CTK) - The Czech Civic Democrats (right-wing opposition ODS) will neither join nor tolerate a government of the ANO movement because the idea of the prosecuted Andrej Babis as prime minister is unacceptable, their leader Petr Fiala said after meeting ANO representatives.

The ODS can see no reason to negotiate with ANO about the next government because ANO was not considering a different prime minister than Babis, Fiala told journalists.

"We accepted the invitation we received from ANO. We noted that the reasons, why the ODS will not start negotiating about the government with the ANO movement, persist," he said.

Fiala said ANO can find possible partners among the parties in parliament that are closer to it than the ODS in terms of their programme or voting in the Chamber of Deputies.

He said he expects Babis to try to gain a majority support for his next government in the Chamber of Deputies.

Last week, Babis's minority government lost the confidence vote taken in it by the 200-seat Chamber when only the 78 ANO MPs voted in support of it. President Milos Zeman accepted the government's resignation and tasked him to lead talks on the forming on the next government on Wednesday.

ODS lower house group's head Zbynek Stanjura said this was a political bargain between Zeman and Babis, letting the prosecuted Babis be the PM in exchange for his support before the presidential runoff that will be held this weekend.

Also last week, the Chamber stripped Babis of his immunity and thus released him for criminal prosecution over a suspected EU subsidy fraud.

Within the new round of government-forming negotiations, Babis met the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement, the Communists (KSCM) and the Social Democrats (CSSD) in the past few days. On Wednesday, ANO also had talks with the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

The ODS has 25 MPs, the anti-EU SPD 22 seats, the Pirates 22 seats, the KSCM and the CSSD 15 seats each, and the KDU-CSL 10 seats.

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