Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is once again fighting for his political future in the wake of revelations that his son, who allegedly suffers from a mental disorder was held in Crimea against his will by his father’s associate to prevent him testifying in the Stork’s Nest affair in which the prime minister faces charges of EU subsidy fraud. Opposition parties have called on the prime minster to resign and are trying to raise support for a no-confidence vote in his administration. His fate now hangs on the decision of his coalition partner the
The investigation into the Stork’s Nest affair in which Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is suspected of EU subsidy fraud has taken a new twist. The prime minister’s son Babiš Jr., who lives in Switzerland, told investigative reporters he had been forcibly detained in Crimea by his father’s associates during the time of the investigation so that he would not be called as a witness. The news erupted like a bombshell on the Czech political scene with opposition parties threatening to call a vote of no-confidence in the government.
The Chamber of Deputies voted on Wednesday not to lift the parliamentary
immunity of Communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček so that police could pursue
defamation charges against him, lodged by former Presidential candidate
Horáček filed the charges in response to claims Ondráček made during the presidential campaign that he had collaborated with the Communist-era secret police (StB) and worked as an illegal moneychanger.
According to Ondráček, documents show that the StB had given Horáček the codename of “Sázkař”, which translates into English as “bookmaker” or “punter”.
The broader leadership of the Social Democrats has given its backing to
chairman, Jan Hamáček, who came under pressure following poor results for
the party in recent Senate and local elections. Mr. Hamáček – who took
the helm in March of this year – had asked to face vote of confidence at
a party meeting in Hradec Králové; nobody raised their hand against him
in Saturday’s poll, though three delegates abstained.
The Social Democrats’ second in command, Jiří Zimola, had also asked to have his position put to a vote of confidence on Saturday but in the end it did not take place.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has gone back on a promise to implement a Code of Ethics for cabinet ministers, instructing the Ministry of Justice to stop work on draft guidelines and focus instead on a new lobbying law. Advocates for greater transparency in government see it as a blow to the fight against corruption.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has gone back on a plan to introduce a
government code of ethics, iRozhlas.cz reported on Friday. The ANO leader
told a number of news outlets in the summer that his cabinet would
introduce rules on the conduct of government members.
However, the Ministry of Justice has now abandoned the job of drafting a code of ethics for the government and will instead introduce a bill on lobbying.
Mr. Babiš says his ministers don’t require rules “on paper somewhere”. The government is open and transparent and already has values, he told Czech Radio.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has criticised the vulgar language used by
President Miloš Zeman in an interview on Czech Radio on Monday. Mr. Babiš
said he understood that the head of state became angry when referring to
the likes of Viktor Kožený, a 1990s financier wanted on an international
arrest warrant, and Zdeněk Bakala, the former owner of mining company OKD.
However, such language was inappropriate, the prime minister said.
The president used one of the strongest Czech expletives in the live interview. Mr. Babiš rarely questions the head of state in public.
The Civic Democrats and the Mayors and Independents gained 10 and seven seats, respectively, in elections to one-third of seats in the Senate that concluded at the weekend. In stark contrast, governing parties ANO and the Social Democrats won only one mandate apiece. Though ANO’s poor showing has vexed leader Andrej Babiš, the outcome was not unexpected, says political scientist Petr Just.
The government's legislative proposals, especially in the filed of
social policy, are likely to be rejected more frequently than before after
the newly formed Senate, Deputy Prime Minister and Social Democrat leader
Jan Hamáček said on Sunday in a debate programme on Czech Television.
The Civic Democratic party have emerged as the biggest winners of the elections to a third of seats in the Senate, which took place on Friday and Saturday. Ten of the party’s 11 candidates secured a seat, bringing the party total in the 81-member Senate to 16.
The party of Mayors and Independents, or STAN, won seven seats, increasing their overall number of senators to 17 and forming the largest senators’ group in the upper chamber.
A “Friends of Tibet” group has just been established by fifty deputies and senators in the Czech Parliament. The news was announced on Tuesday at the Forum 2000 conference in Prague. The group, established by the Pirate Party along with the Civic and Christian Democrats and TOP09 aims to focus on human rights issues as well as environmental and cyber protection.
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