The lower house of Parliament decided Friday to lift immunity for the prime minister and his ANO senior party colleague Jaroslav Faltýnek to face criminal charges for the alleged abuse of EU funds in connection with the Stork’s Nest complex. Despite having consistently denied any wrongdoing, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his close associate asked for their immunity to be waived during the heated debate.
The political future of current Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš seems rather up in the air at present. His perceived ally Miloš Zeman may struggle to win re-election in the second round of presidential elections next week and, with Mr. Babiš likely to face criminal charges, the ANO chief now says another top party figure could lead the government. I discussed the situation with political scientist Petr Just.
The minority government of Andrej Babiš has decided to resign following its failure to win a vote of confidence in the lower house of parliament. The ANO leader will still get another attempt to win support for a government but under stepped up pressure to hold meaningful negotiations with other parties which might result in a coalition.
Miloš Zeman received less of the vote than predicted in round one of the presidential elections and his challenger Jiří Drahoš seems to have a strong chance of unseating the incumbent. So who is most likely to be the next Czech head of state? And given his rhetorical skills, will mooted TV debates be enough to turn things around for Mr. Zeman? I discussed those questions with Dr. Sean Hanley of School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London.
The embattled Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, who is seeking a vote of confidence for his minority government, has asked lawmakers to lift his parliamentary immunity so that he may defend himself in court against charges of EU subsidy fraud. The scandal surrounding Babiš is hampering his efforts to form a viable government since political opponents say they will not support a prime minister who is charged with fraud.
Last Friday and Saturday Czechs went to the polls for the first round of the presidential election, choosing among nine candidates including President Miloš Zeman. Public surveys had repeatedly suggested that both the incumbent and his opponent, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences Jiří Drahoš, would advance. They hit the nail on the head.
Jiří Drahoš, a former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and a university chemistry professor, is considered to be the most serious rival to the incumbent Miloš Zeman in the presidential race. Mr Drahoš is running as an independent candidate and has collected more than 142,000 signatures in his support.
Polling stations around the country opened on Friday for Czechs to cast their vote in presidential elections. What are they expecting from their presidential candidate? Do they think their vote makes any difference? We talked to two Czechs at the opposite ends of the age spectrum about how they perceived the contest.
Czech voters began going to the polls on Friday in the first round of the presidential election. Standing in the election are nine candidates including the incumbent, Miloš Zeman, who is seeking a second five-year term. It is only the second time in history that Czechs are voting directly on who will be the head of state.