Zeman gives Babiš govt. time but wants signatures of majority of MPs before second confidence vote

In an address to the Czech lower house, President Miloš Zeman called on Andrej Babiš’s ANO minority government to win support ahead of an expected second attempt to pass the vote of confidence that it requires to rule. Mr. Zeman said he would give Mr. Babiš sufficient time to try to find the necessary backing. He told deputies to look to Germany, where coalition talks have been going on for months.

The president made the comments on Wednesday morning prior to an initial vote of confidence that the ANO government were widely expected to lose as they don’t have the backing of any other grouping. Mr. Zeman had already said he would give ANO a second chance to form a government.

The head of state later said he would require a written declaration of support for a new Babiš government from at least 101 of the 200 deputies in the lower house prior to a second confidence vote.

In the lower house the president also told MPs to bear in mind the presumption of innocence. The comment was a reference to the fact that the police are seeking to charge ANO chief Babiš over the alleged abuse of EU subsidies.