Representatives of the Communist party will meet with members of ANO next
Tuesday for a second round of talks. ANO is seeking support for a possible
minority government with members of the party and unaffiliated experts.
The Communists made clear they want to clinch the post of deputy chairman of lower house. The party’s deputies’ club will be led by Pavel Kováčik. In last weekend’s elections the number of Communist MPs shrunk from a previous 33 to 15.
Andrej Babiš, the head of the ANO party which dominated in the general
elections last weekend, has told news website iDnes he will try and form a
minority government made up of ANO nominees together with
politically-unaffiliated experts. He made the comment after failing to
convince other parties in the lower house this week to come on board,
namely the Civic Democrats, with whom ANO would have enough mandates to
form a majority.
As he was turned away, Mr Babiš said he would try and form a government which would put forward a program which would at least in part take into consideration priorities of parties not in the cabinet. He did not say from whom he could get support in a confidence vote.
The first deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats, Marian Jurečka, has
blamed the party’s unimpressive showing in the general elections on their
abandonment of a deal to run together with the Mayors and Independents and
“poor communication”. Mr. Jurečka made the comments in an interview on
the SeznamZpravy.cz news site.
Mr. Jurečka also said that controversial comments by Christian Democrats chairman Pavel Bělobrádek on social media had cost them dearly. The party won 10 seats in the lower house for 5.8 percent of the vote.
Election winners ANO have ruled out speaking to representatives of the
Mayors and Independents Group or TOP 09 in a second round of talks on
forming a new government, the party’s leader, Andrej Babiš, told Czech
Television on Wednesday evening. The ANO chief said the two groupings had a
minimum number of deputies in the lower house and what’s more behaved in
a hostile manner toward his party.
Mr. Babiš said he would like his new government when it is formed to win a confidence vote in the lower house before Christmas. His party received almost 30 percent of the vote in last weekend’s elections and are currently sounding out other groupings on a possible coalition.
The ANO party is entitled to the post of speaker of the lower house in view
of its resounding victory in the general elections, Andrej Babiš told
journalists following a meeting with representatives of the centre-right
Civic Democratic Party on Tuesday.
The Civic Democrats, who have said they are not interested into entering into a coalition with ANO, made an unsuccessful bid for the post of speaker of the lower house during the talks.
The head of the Civic Democrats Petr Fiala argued that in the interest of maintaining the system of checks and balances the post of speaker should go to the second strongest party on the Czech political scene.
Lobbyist Marek Dalík has until November 6 to begin serving a five year
prison sentence, the spokeswoman for Prague's Municipal Court has
confirmed. Mr Dalík, she said, was expected at Ruzyně prison at the
latest at four pm on the 6th, a Monday.
Mr Dalík, a former close aid to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek, was sentenced to prison in July for soliciting a bribe over a military deal.
Eleven people have been charged in connection with subsidy fraud of 50
million crowns in the Stork’s Nest affair, including ANO leader Andrej
Babiš and deputy leader Jaroslav Faltýnek. The spokeswoman for Prague’s
state prosecutor’s office Štěpánka Zenklová said that the office
would have to halt proceedings against the two politicians as they both won
new mandates at the weekend. Previously, the lower house had stripped them
of immunity to face criminal charges.
Mr Babiš is suspected of having orchestrated a plan for his Stork’s Nest farm to acquire a 50 million crown EU subsidy which should technically have been out of his reach. He has been charged with subsidy fraud and harming the EU’s financial interests.
With the election results out, all eyes are now on the ANO party and its controversial leader Andrej Babiš who is likely to be tasked with forming the next government. Will the Czech Republic be headed by a prime minister who faces criminal charges and what are the possible coalition scenarios opening up? Those are issues I discussed with political scientist Jiří Pehe, and I began by asking who are the winners and losers of these elections.