Lower house Novichok debate ends before it begins

A lower house debate on statements made about Novichok by Czech President Miloš Zeman ended before it began on Thursday. Only 40 deputies declared themselves present for the Christian Democrat-tabled discussion. As the quorum for the lower house is 57 declared MPs, the speaker abandoned the debate.

Other deputies were actually in the chamber but had declined to place their voting cards in their voting devices. The Mayors and Independents Vít Rakušan described the situation as a new level of obstruction.

Critics were angered after Mr. Zeman claimed that a small amount of Novichok had been produced and tested in this country. The nerve agent was in the news after the poisoning of two Russians led the UK and other states, including the Czech Republic, to expel Russian diplomats.