Social Democrat leader says referendum will decide on coalition government

Czech Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček said Saturday that membership of the party should decide in a referendum whether it takes part in a coalition government with the ANO party.

Hamáček, taking part in a meeting of the party’s central executive committee, said the vote would take place when negotiations with ANO and the communist party, which has said it is prepared to support a minority government, are completed. The leadership’s recommendation on how to vote would depend on the shape of the eventual deal, the leader added.

The committee decided that a vote should take place within two months and would be valid if at least a quarter of the party membership took part.

The Social Democrats have been deeply divided about forming a government with ANO leader Andrej Babiš, who is facing criminal charges for alleged EU subsidy fraud. Most party senators and some regional governors have opposed being part of a government.