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April 9, 2018 5:00 pm | FILED UNDER: politics

Babis Rejects Calls For His Ouster

By ČTK Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis

Prague, April 9 (CTK) – Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) will accept the option in which President Milos Zeman may empower someone else from ANO to form a new Czech government, Babis said in an interview with the daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.

 

Babis said, however, he did not expect Zeman to take the step.

 

On Tuesday, Babis will discuss the creation of the government with Zeman.

 

“If he tells me that he wants to empower [Environment Minister] Richard Brabec, I will respect this,” Babis said.

 

Babis said he did not presume the head of state would come up with the proposal.

 

“Zeman keeps his word, he has given me a promise and time till the end of June,” Babis said.

 

After the October election to the Chamber of Deputies, won by ANO, Zeman assigned Babis to form a government.

 

Babis created a one-party government, but in January, it lost the confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies.

 

Zeman then entrusted Babis with talks on forming a new government, giving him time till the summer.

 

The talks with the Social Democrats (CSSD) have foundered on Babis being criminally prosecuted over an EU subsidy fraud. The Social Democrats say they will not be in a government with a criminally prosecuted person.

 

So far, Babis has dismissed the option that he will not be at the head of the government.

 

In late February, Babis said he would be the only ANO candidate for the prime minister “till his death.”

 

After the talks with Social Democrats collapsed last Thursday, Babis said Zeman’s position would be of major importance for further steps.

 

“Naturally, the view of the ANO deputy group will also be crucial,” Babis said.

 

So far, ANO has backed Babis’s claim to the post of prime minister.

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