PM Babiš: If Social Democrats were to leave the coalition it would mean early elections


Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said that if the Social Democratic Party, which makes up half of the rulling government coalition with his ANO party, were to quit, the result would be early elections. The statement was made during a weekly political debate show on Czech Television. It comes after a hectic week of sharp statements made by the Social Democrats and the President, who have clashed over the latter's unwillingness to accept the resignation of Social Democrat Culture Minister Antonín Staněk.

The party's leader Jan Hamáček said that the country is on the edge of a constitutional crisis on Thursday, pointing to the fact that the constitution states the president recalls government ministers after receiving the request from the prime minister. However, the Castle points to the fact that the constitution does not state a specific deadline for the president to do so. Rumors of an increasing amount of Social Democrat politicians favouring an exit from the government has led media to speculate what the outcome of such an action could be. President Zeman said that it would merely lead to the replacement of Social Democrat ministers, with support for the government guaranteed by the Freedom and Direct Democracy party, which is currently in opposition. Mr. Babiš, also said on Sunday that he does not expect the Social Democrats will leave the government.