The minority government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš won a parliamentary
confidence vote in the early hours of Thursday, following a contentious
Mr Babiš’s new government is the first since 1989 to cooperate with the staunchly pro-Russian and anti-NATO Communists, who pledged to back him in exchange for positions in state-owned enterprises and policy concessions.
His centrist ANO party won nearly 30 per cent of the vote in the October general election, but many parties refused to work with him, as he faces fraud charges for allegedly misappropriating EU funds some 10 years ago.
In June, after months of wrangling, the Social Democrats formally agreed to form a coalition with ANO. Together they have 93 seats in the 200-member parliament, so Mr Babiš had to rely on the backing of the Communists, who have 15 seats, to win the confidence vote. In the end, the government received 105 votes.
Mr Babiš’s first minority government lost a confidence vote in January, after which he was invited by President Miloš Zeman to make a second attempt.
A minority coalition of ANO and the Social Democrats is undergoing a vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday. Although Prime Minister Andrej Babiš doesn’t have a majority, he will in all probability succeed in his second attempt form a government, after having secured a deal with the Communists who pledged to back the coalition during key votes.
President Miloš Zeman expressed his support for the ANO-Social Democrat
minority coalition in a speech at the lower house of Parliament ahead of
Wednesday’s confidence vote in Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s
He praised the government’s programme statement, in particular its call for a 10-year investment program into infrastructure, both at the municipal and national level.
Ahead of President Zeman’s speech and formal debate, MPs from the conservative opposition party TOP 09 left the chamber to protest the fact that in exchange for their toleration of his government, Mr Babiš has made policy concessions to the Communists.
Another opposition party, the Christian Democrats, protested by unrolling a banner featuring the Soviet red star and declaring they would vote against any government relying on Communist support.
A minority coalition of ANO and the Social Democrats is set to undergo a
vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday. Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš’s government will in all probability pass that necessary
test after the ANO leader brokered a deal with the Communist Party under
which they will back the coalition during key votes.
President Miloš Zeman is due to attend the lower house session to express his support for the new government, whose formation he has long advocated.
With the agreement to prop up the coalition the Communists have acquired a share of power at national level for the first time since 1989.
ANO won elections in October but saw a first attempt at forming a single-party government fail when it lost a confidence vote earlier this year.
In the wake of justice minister Taťána Malá’s sudden resignation over allegations of plagiarism – coming just two days ahead of a scheduled confidence vote in the new government – Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has nominated constitutional law professor Jan Kněžínek to fill her shoes, following an outcry after he first suggested he would take over the post himself.
Representatives of ANO and the Social Democrats have signed a coalition
deal between the two parties, a day before their joint minority government
undergoes the necessary vote of confidence in the lower house. Also on
Tuesday ANO and the Communist Party put their signatures to a deal under
which the latter have agreed to tolerate the new government.
Opposition parties have criticised the head of ANO, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, for allowing the Communists to have a share of power for the first time since the Velvet Revolution in 1989. They say a different government could have been formed if Mr. Babiš, who is facing criminal charges, had stood aside.
All parties but ANO, the Social Democrats and the Communists say they will vote against the new coalition when it undergoes a confidence vote in the lower house on Wednesday.
The Communist Party will support the newly-appointed government of ANO and
the Social Democrats at its upcoming vote of confidence on Wednesday, the
Czech News Agency reported on Monday, citing the pre-negotiated tolerance
agreement between the Communists and the ANO Party.
The leaders of the Communist Party and ANO, Vojtěch Filip and Andrej Babiš, are set to sign the tolerance agreement on Tuesday. The Communist Party linked its support to a number of conditions, including a minimum wage hike and support for a law taxing Church restitutions
Cardinal Dominik Duka, the archbishop of Prague, has called the incoming
ANO-Social Democrat coalition government’s plans to tax restituted church
property "scandalous" and pledged to sue in court to prevent it
Under a 2012 agreement on compensating churches for property seized by the Communists, over a period of 30 years the churches would receive 75 billion crowns worth of land and property and nearly 60 billion crowns in compensation.
The Communists have conditioned their support for the minority coalition government of Prime Minister Andrei Babiš, which faces a confidence vote on July 11, on its support for the tax.
Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch has dismissed the director of Na Bulovce
hospital, one of nine people facing prosecution for having allegedly
conspired to manipulate public contracts to Prague hospitals.
Among the accused is the director of Na Františku hospital, who resigned of his own accord earlier this week. Minister Vojtěch said in a statement on Wednesday he intends to review all supply contracts to public hospitals and revise contracts which the health ministry itself manages directly.
The Communist Party will support the newly-appointed minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats at its upcoming vote of confidence on July 11th. The Communist Party leadership met on Saturday to take a vote on the pre-negotiated tolerance agreement with the two parties in government. Fifty-four members of the party leadership voted in favour, 23 were against and one abstained. The Communist Party linked its support to a number of conditions, such as a law on national referenda, a minimal wage hike and support for a law taxing church restitutions.
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