Swedish statistician Ola Rosling is co-founder of Gapminder, a foundation that aims to chart trends and use data to fight what it calls “devastating ignorance” using “fact-based worldviews everyone can understand.” On the invitation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, he recently visited the Czech Republic to share his vision with local politicians and decision-makers. His message to them in part was to reexamine their assumptions about the world – because the Left and Right are “equally wrong” – and embrace nuance over binary thinking.
If the Social Democrats quit the government and the cabinet is
reconstructed, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO would not need to seek a
fresh vote of confidence, the Communist Party’s Vojtěch Filip said on
Tuesday. Mr. Filip said the Social Democrats had around a third of the
seats in cabinet, meaning it would not be a major change.
The Communist Party chief said if other parties disagreed with this they could seek a vote of no-confidence. The Babiš government survived such a show of hands for the second time two weeks ago.
The Social Democrats are threatening to pull out of the coalition over the refusal of ANO leader Babiš to force the president to accept the resignation of the party’s arts minister.
Opposition politicians are planning to take President Miloš Zeman to the
Constitutional Court over his refusal to accept the resignation of a
minister, despite being requested to dismiss him so by Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš. The head of the Mayors and Independents party, Vít
Rakušan, said it was the last instrument at their disposal to curb the
head of state’s arbitrary behaviour, iDnes.cz reported.
Mr. Rakušan said when the prime minister was weak the whole country was the loser, warning that the country was headed for a quasi-presidential system.
Miroslav Kalousek of TOP 09 said his party would back the petition to the Constitutional Court.
The Civic Democrats have called for a return to the previous system under which the president was elected by Parliament not the public. However, the Mayors and Independents say the Constitution should not be amended just because of one bad experience.
President Zeman has refused to accept the resignation of the minister of culture, Antonín Staněk.
A group of senators is also planning to launch a complaint against Mr. Zeman at the Constitutional Court. They say they will decide on its final form after he meets Mr. Babiš, Mr. Hamáček and Mr. Staněk later this week.
President Miloš Zeman is to hold meetings later this week with key players
in the country’s ongoing political crisis. His spokesman said that the
head of state would welcome Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO to Prague
Castle on Thursday at 5 pm. The following day Mr. Zeman will play host to
Social Democrats chairman Jan Hamáček and the party’s minister of
culture, Antonín Staněk, at his Lány residence at 3 pm.
The president has refused to accept the resignation of Mr. Staněk, a move that the Social Democrats insist on. They say they may quit the coalition government if Mr. Babiš doesn’t force Mr. Zeman to act. However, the PM shows no signs of doing so.
No progress was made during talks between the president and the heads of the two coalition parties last week. The Czech constitution says the president must remove a minister at the request of the prime minister, though it does not set a deadline for this.
President Miloš Zeman has not made any final decision concerning the replacement of Culture Minister Antonín Staněk, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said after a meeting at Lány Chateau on Thursday. Mr Babiš and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček met with the head of state with the aim to resolve the dispute that could bring down the government.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has hailed the EU compromise on nominations for the bloc’s top jobs as a big success for the Visegrad Four grouping which fiercely opposed the system of Spitzen candidates and particularly the candidacy of Frans Timmermans for EC president. But, while the prime minister is cheering, there have been mixed reactions from Czech MEPs, some of whom have criticized the fact that the deal reached does not reflect the outcome of elections to the European Parliament.
After failing to reach a decision during over 18 hours of talks on Sunday and Monday, EU leaders are reconvening in Brussels to try to agree who should lead the bloc’s institutions for the coming five years. Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans, a frontrunner for European Commission president, faces strong opposition from the Czech Republic and fellow Visegrad Four states.
The minority coalition government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has
survived a no-confidence vote in the Czech lower house, as expected, with
the support of the Communists and no defections from MPs in ANO or Social
After nearly 17 hours of debate that began on Wednesday afternoon, the actual voting took 20 minutes, with the results in shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Thursday.
Opposition parties had tabled the motion after a preliminary European Commission audit found Mr. Babiš to be in conflict of interest in connection his business affairs.
It was the second time that the Babiš government, which was appointed a year ago on Thursday, faced such a challenge in the Chamber of Deputies.