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March 16, 2018 7:19 pm | FILED UNDER: politics

Communists Plan To Support PM Babis’s Government

By ČTK Andrej Babis

Prague, March 16 (CTK) – The Communist (KSCM) broader leadership today recommended that the party support the formation of a possible new government of ANO leader Andrej Babis, in which the Social Democrats (CSSD) may participate, and tolerate this government, KSCM leader Vojtech Filip said.

 

The KSCM leadership wants to keep negotiating with the ANO movement.

 

Filip said the KSCM is likely to make the final decision on the issue in a week.

 

“It is a marked progress because though the discussion was stormy, a majority eventually wants to continue negotiating and take steps to support the possible formation of the government and later tolerate it,” he said.

 

A government without confidence is a source of mistrust, the KSCM said in a statement released on its website after the leadership’s meeting today.

 

Babis’s minority government lost a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies in January and resigned, but it continues ruling pending the establishment of his new cabinet. President Milos Zeman assigned Babis to form a new government and Babis is negotiating about it with other parties.

 

The KSCM broader leadership approved the procedure of its team of negotiators about the government and it recommended that the executive committee approve it, too. It will meet next week.

 

Filip said the KSCM and ANO still have not reached agreement on the parts of the government policy statements concerning a general referendum bill. The Communists also demand that Czech soldiers participate only in foreign missions approved by the United Nations Security Council, he said.

 

Filip said the KSCM is ready to support deployment of Czech soldiers in foreign military missions that are supported by the UN and in accordance with Czech interests.

 

If military actions fail to win a UN mandate, the Czech Republic should not take part in them, he said.

 

“This is one of the most difficult chapters we are negotiating about,” Filip said.

 

He said the KSCM wants to let people decide on foreign policy affairs in a referendum, which ANO rejects.

 

The Communists and the right-wing populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) demand that people decide in referendums on the country’s membership of the European Union and NATO. The KSCM wants the Czech Republic to leave NATO, while the SPD calls for the departure from the EU.

 

After a series of meetings with the parties’ chairmen, Babis said on Thursday that he would now lead talks with the CSSD only.

 

As far as the Communists are concerned, ANO is completing the agreements with them on programme priorities.

 

ANO (78 MPs) and the CSSD (15 MPs) would not have enough votes for their government to win confidence in the 200-seat lower house without support of another party or parties.

 

The Communists do not want to enter Babis’s government, but they are willing to support it.

 

As the KSCM has 15 MPs, so it would suffice for Babis’s ANO-CSSD cabinet to win confidence if the KSCM MPs left the session room during the vote to lower the quorum.

 

The KSCM’s broader leadership is of the view that the demonstrations held in the past few weeks were organised with the effort to influence the situation in the Czech Republic after the last October general election, in which ANO had scored a landslide victory.

 

Last week, tens of thousands of people protested all over the country against KSCM MP Zdenek Ondracek being elected the head of the Chamber of Deputies’ commission for the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS) since he as a member of the riot police had taken part in a crackdown on anti-Communist demonstrators under the previous regime. Ondracek stepped down from the post under the pressure eventually.

 

Demonstrations for freedom of speech and students’ 30-minute strike for defence of constitutional and social values were held this week.

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