Can PM Andrej Babis Pacify Communist Unease Over Minister Picks?ČTK
Prague, March 24 (CTK) – The Czech Communists (KSCM) have serious reservations about three up to four ministers in the government of Andrej Babis (ANO), which keeps working after its resignation, KSCM chairman Vojtech Filip told reporters during a meeting of the party’s broader leadership today.
He did not elaborate on these ministers’ names.
The KSCM is likely to keep negotiating about its toleration of Babis’s new cabinet, according to the central committee’s conclusion.
Babis, whose ANO minority government resigned after it lost a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies in January, is negotiating about the formation of his second government with the Social Democrats (CSSD), supported by the Communists.
Filip said after the committee’s meeting that he was convinced that an agreement would be made if no dramatic change occurred.
He indicated that the KSCM might not decide on its possible toleration of Babis’s minority government on April 7, when the central committee would meet again, either.
“If ANO is exclusively negotiating with the CSSD until April 10, it is clear that a trilateral agreement is needed and by this time, I probably cannot submit results of the talks to the central committee,” Filip added.
He pointed out the risks of these talks from the viewpoint of the KSCM’s policy or ideological grounds. “We all also realise the risks if the Czech Republic had no stable government for long… The KSCM is so far willing to take this responsibility,” Filip said.
He refused to say which of the current ministers should not appear in the new cabinet, according to the KSCM.
“I will definitely deal with this during the talks with the ANO movement and the Social Democrats (CSSD) only,” Filip said, adding that he had informed Babis about the KSCM’s objections to his ministers.
“He may have been more critical of some of the current ministers than I was,” Filip added.
Asked about his view of new CSSD chairman Jan Hamacek, CSSD first deputy head Jiri Zimola and CSSD MP and former education minister Katerina Valachova, Filip said Hamacek and Zimola were always working hard and fairly.
“We are in the phase of the talks when some agreement is on the horizon,” Filip said, commenting on the ongoing meeting of the central committee on possible support for Babis’s government.
The trilateral talks of ANO, the CSSD and the KSCM are scheduled for next week.
Filip said he would convoke an extraordinary meeting of the central committee on a possible toleration of the government if necessary.
The KSCM congress to be held on April 21 should not decide on this matter, he added.