Talks to pave the way for a Czech government almost six months after elections have hit some new obstacles. The junior partner in a would be coalition with Andrej Babiš’ ANO, the Social Democrats, are seeking more guarantees. At the same time a powerful faction within the left-of centre party has openly opposed entering the government.
The Prague Institute of Planning and Development has unveiled the new Metropolitan Plan for the Czech capital that should come into effect in the year 2023. Among other things, the new strategic plan introduces building height regulation and attempts to prevent the city from sprawling into the surrounding countryside.
Representatives from ANO and the Social Democratic Party met on Monday to discuss the possibility of renewing talks on forming a viable government. The prime minister in resignation Andrej Babiš is pushing for a minority government between ANO and the Social Democrats; the question is whether ANO made the latter an offer they could accept this time.
Though long based in Wales, where he teaches at the Cardiff School of Law and Politics, Professor Jiří Přibáň is a regular commentator on politics in his native Czech Republic. Last week I discussed the rise of populism, the chances of a vote on leaving the EU and the outlook for Czech liberals with the sociologist and theorist of law and constitutionalism. But I first asked Jiří Přibáň how Andrej Babiš’s ANO had, in little over five years, succeeded in becoming the dominant force in Czech politics.
The leadership of the ANO party have announced that they will try to renew government negotiations with the Social Democrats. The decision is the latest turn in the nearly six-month saga to form a government following October elections which ANO won convincingly but fell short of an overall majority.
The Czech president has pointed ANO leader Andrej Babiš in the direction of the anti-immigrant and anti-EU Direct Democracy and Freedom party (SPD) and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) as the best chance of forming a government. Though many ANO lawmakers don’t appear to have a problem with cosying up to Tomio Okamura’s SPD many current ministers have.