The former head of Slovakia’s National Memory Institute says he came
under pressure over the case of ANO leader Andrej Babiš and the archive
evidence suggesting he was an agent for the communist era secret police,
Ondrej Krajňák said in an interview with Czech Radio that he came under political pressure over the case from some politicians that wanted to preserve good relations with the Czech Republic and was encouraged not to pursue the case with such vigour.
The Slovak Constitutional Court recently overturned an earlier court ruling clearing Babiš of cooperating with the secret police. Babiš says he will appeal.
Krajňák resigned over legal changes to the status of the institution that holds the former police archives.
More personalities have declared that they have turned down approaches from
ANO leader Andrej Babiš to be ministers in the Cabinet he is seeking to
The head of the association of small and medium sized businesses, Karel Havlíček, said he rejected an offer to be minister of industry and trade.
Composer and rector of the Janáček Academy in Brno, Ivo Medek, announced he did not want to be Minister of Culture. Babiš said earlier that he had already filled seven to eight positions.
The Mayors and Independents group have rejected a proposal put forward by
TOP 09’s Miroslav Kalousek aimed at blocking efforts by ANO’s Andrej
Babiš to form a minority government. Mr. Kalousek says if other parties
agree to not nominate a speaker, this would stop mean the current
government would have to continue.
However, the Mayors’ Jan Farský said before a meeting of his party, TOP 09 and the Christian Democrats on Wednesday that such a move represented nothing more than a “yell into the darkness”.
Moves by Czech election winner Andrej Babiš to put together a minority government drawing on experts and support where he can outside the ANO party have taken another step forward. But Babiš’ plans have also sparked opposition from most other parties and one idea for stopping them dead in their tracks.
ANO have offered the Social Democrats the chairmanship of one of the
committees in the lower house, the latter’s acting leader Milan Chovanec
said after a meeting with ANO's Andrej Babiš on Wednesday. Mr.
Chovanec did not say which committee was under discussion.
The senior Social Democrat said that ANO had not set any conditions with regard to the offer. Mr. Chovanec also said that the election winners were continuing to demand the post of speaker of the lower house, for which they have proposed Radek Vondráček.
The Civic Democrats, who came second in the elections, have suggested party leader Petr Fiala for the post.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš says he has selected candidates to fill seven or
eight cabinet posts in the minority government he is forming. Speaking on
Wednesday, Mr. Babiš said he had a few names in mind for the post of
minister of defence, with the ANO incumbent Martin Stropnický tipped to
take over at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Mr. Babiš is at present seeking adepts for the posts of minister of education, industry and trade and culture. Some ANO ministers will hold onto the portfolios they had in the outgoing government.
On Tuesday President Miloš Zeman charged Mr. Babiš with forming a government after ANO took almost 30 percent in general elections. The head of state said he would allow the party to rule without having to win a vote of confidence, a move that critics say breaks with long-standing tradition.
Meanwhile, the leadership of ANO have called on the party’s regional governors who have also been elected to the Chamber of Deputies to choose one position and resign from the other. On Tuesday the party’s Jaroslava Pokorná Jermanová announced she was giving up her seat in the lower house and would only serve as governor of the South Bohemia Region.
President Miloš Zeman has tasked the leader of the ANO Party Andrej Babiš
with forming a new government. At a joint press briefing following their
meeting at Lany Chateau on Tuesday, the president said he supported
Babis’ plan to form a minority government and would appeal to lower house
deputies to give it a vote of confidence.
The president said he was strictly opposed to early elections and would give Babiš a second attempt at forming a cabinet if his minority government fails in a confidence vote in the lower house.
Babiš, who was rebuffed by the traditional parties during coalition negotiations, has said he will form a minority government made up of ANO ministers and unaffiliated experts and will ask the lower house for a vote of confidence in his cabinet before Christmas. There is concern that with support from the president he could govern the country for some time even if he failed to win a confidence vote.
Andrej Babiš’ aim of forming a minority government made up of ANO ministers together with experts got backing from President Miloš Zeman even before an official meeting on Tuesday. Speaking to Czech Radio’s flagship station Radiožurnál, the president said he preferred a minority cabinet to a stable coalition without clear goals. On the other hand, it might simply be a tactic to bring other parties to the table.
TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek has called for the traditional parties to
boycott Babiš’ plans for a minority government by blocking the
establishment of a functioning lower house.
Kalousek said the only way to prevent the ANO leader from governing the country without a confidence vote was not to elect a chairman of the lower house. Without a functioning lower house the outgoing government of Bohuslav Sobotka cannot resign, and with Sobotka in office the president cannot name a new prime minister, Kalousek argued.
He said he would try to win support for the plan among all parties with the exception of the Communists, who have already said they would consider supporting a minority government led by Babiš.
Just one week after the country’s general elections, ANO leader Andrej Babiš has given up on the idea of forming a coalition government and is working on creating a minority government of ministers from his own party and experts. The anti-establishment, billionaire leader of ANO, who is shunned by the traditional parties, wants a vote of confidence in his government before Christmas.