Friday, 21 September 2018

Right-wing opposition criticises gov't, not to give it confidence

ČTK |
11 July 2018

Prague, July 10 (CTK) - The right-wing opposition criticises the Czech government of Andrej Babis (ANO) for bringing the Communists to power for the first time since the 1989 fall of the communist regime and will not vote confidence in it in the Chamber of Deputies, the opposition leaders said on Tuesday.

The Communists (KSCM) are to tolerate the minority cabinet of Babis's ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) in a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, on Wednesday.

The opposition Civic Democrats (ODS), TOP 09, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and Mayors and Independents (STAN) share objections to the new government's programme and line-up as well.

Their representatives declared in the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday that they would not support the Babis government in the confidence vote. The Pirates and the anti-EU ultra-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement will also vote against the government.

"I would like to remind Andrej Babis's statement from April 2017, in which he ruled out any cooperation with the KSCM," Pirate chairman Ivan Bartos said.

Babis had a chance to form a cabinet on a democratic base, but instead he will present a government without the foreign affairs minister, supported by the Communists, Bartos said, hinting at the fact that President Milos Zeman refused to appoint CSSD candidate Miroslav Poche as diplomacy head and assigned CSSD chairman, Deputy PM and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek to temporarily head the Foreign Ministry.

ODS chairman Petr Fiala considers the government harmful and he said the Civic Democrats cannot support it for principled reasons.

"The ODS considers the text od the government policy statements too general, vague in significant aspects and not satisfactory at all," Fiala said.

STAN deputy chairman Vit Rakusan told reporters that Babis brought the Communists back to power due to his ambition to be head of government.

"This is his irresistible personal ambition to be the prime minister and the lack of democratic sense," Rakusan said about Babis, who faces criminal prosecution on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud.

Rakusan thereby explained why Babis had failed to find any other government settlement since the last autumn general election.

STAN deputy group head Jan Farsky said the only positive aspect was that the Czech Republic would probably have a government with the parliament's confidence on Wednesday.

On the other hand, STAN criticised the government as such, the process of its formation, its programme and lineup.

New and new reasons why this government should not be given confidence are emerging every day, TOP 09 chairman Jiri Pospisil said.

He minds both its toleration by the Communists and the case of outgoing justice minister Tatana Mala (ANO), who resigned on Monday over suspected plagiarism in her university theses, and other ministers.

"The third reason is that this government will be populist and leftist, it gave up any ambitious steps, such as school system and judiciary reforms," Pospisil said.

The Christian Democrats call the government "immoral."

They mentioned Babis's managerial failure as the names of all ministers are not clear a day before the confidence vote.

The KDU-CSL will not support the government because of its toleration by the Communists and the criminally prosecuted Babis as its head, KDU-CSL chairman Pavel Belobradek said.

The SPD will not support the government either, its chairman Tomio Okamura said, adding that the cabinet would be promoting the same foreign, economic, security, defence and social policy as the previous government of the CSSD and ANO along with the KDU-CSl, headed by Bohuslav Sobotka.

The government programme plans are at variance with the SPD's opinions, he added.

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