Four parties unite ahead of first lower house session

The Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents have formed a group called Democratic Bloc with a view to taking a common position when the first session of the new Chamber of Deputies is held next Monday.

The parties said on Wednesday that they would not vote for ANO’s Radek Vondráček as speaker of the lower house and would demand two deputy speakers posts and the leadership of seven committees.

The Civic Democrats’ chairman Petr Fiala said he had planned to run for the post of speaker but that this was now pointless as ANO, the Communists, Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Pirates were going to back Mr. Vondráček.

TOP O9’s Miroslav Kalousek said it would now be clear who supported what he called the "project" of ANO chief Andrej Babiš and President Miloš Zeman. ANO won last month’s elections with almost 30 percent of the vote and are working on forming a minority government.