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November 24, 2017 8:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Czech President Zeman Plans to Appoint Babis and Form Minority Government by Mid-December

By ČTK Andrej Babis Milos Zeman

Prague/Moscow, Nov 23 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman wants to appoint ANO leader Andrej Babis Czech prime minister probably on December 6 and ANO’s nascent minority government around December 15, he told journalists during his visit to Russia in Moscow today.

 

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek quoted Zeman on Facebook as saying that the above dates were only preliminary estimates.

 

Zeman said he would meet Babis on November 28 to hear his idea of the lineup of the next government.

 

He confirmed that he would meet the candidates for ministers after the official appointment of Babis and before the cabinet’s appointment.

 

Zeman is eager to see whether the candidates would really understand their sectors well, he said, referring to the fact that Babis said his government would include unaffiliated experts.

 

The ANO movement clearly won the general election held one month ago. Zeman entrusted Babis with leading negotiations about the forming of the next government on October.

 

Babis wants to form a minority government of ANO politicians and unaffiliated experts. He has not yet gained sufficient support in the lower house of parliament that would enable him to win confidence in his government.

 

However, Zeman said he would entrust Babis with trying to form the government again if his first attempt to win a majority support for it in parliament failed.

 

The Communists (KSCM) said they were ready to tolerate Babis’s government under certain conditions. On Thursday, the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Pirates supported ANO’s candidate for the lower house chairman, but they ruled out their support for the minority cabinet, same as the five remaining parties in parliament.

 

The Czech police asked the lower house to release Babis for criminal prosecution over a suspected EU subsidy fraud. Most of the other parties said a prosecuted prime minister would harm the country.

 

The lower house, in its old composition before the elections, stripped Babis of his MP’s immunity already in September, but as Babis defended his lower house seat in the elections, the police had to ask for his release for prosecution again. They did so on Tuesday.

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