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April 6, 2018 8:00 pm | FILED UNDER: politics

Opposition Calls On Zeman To Sack Babis

By ČTK Andrej Babis and Milos Zeman

Prague, April 6 (CTK) – Somebody else should be given the chance of forming a regular cabinet with the support of the majority of the Czech parliament if the ANO movement head Andrej Babis is unable or not willing to do so, Petr Fiala, the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats (ODS) leader, has said.

 

Fiala, the leader of the second strongest party in the parliament, was responding to Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) chairman Jan Hamacek’s decision to end the talks on a possible coalition cabinet with ANO.

 

TOP 09 deputy group head Miroslav Kalousek shares Fiala’s stance that President Milos Zeman should now appoint another politician with the task of forming the cabinet.

 

“Let us finish this theatrical performance and go back to the rules of parliamentary democracy,” Fiala said.

 

“We have lost nearly six months as the ANO chairman was trying to persuade the public that this state of affairs is normal and that we should get used to it. In reality, however, this is not normal,” he noted.

 

Pirates leader Ivan Bartos also blamed Babis for the failure of the government-forming talks. “Babis won the elections, but he proved an absolute incapability and unwillingness to make compromises in the negotiations,” he said.

 

Bartos said it is Zeman who should make the next move now.

 

Freedom and Democracy (SPD) movement deputy chairman Radim Fiala said he was not surprised by the failure of the talks of ANO and CSSD due to the attitude the Social Democrats maintained.

 

“A party with seven percent [in the parliament] wants five ministries. This is an utterly brash effort in denying the election result,” Radim Fiala said on Facebook.

 

Kalousek said it was Babis himself, not the post-election stalemate, that stood as an obstacle to forming the cabinet.

 

“A president with at least a minimum responsibility to the constitution and to his country would now assign the second attempt to another politician. Only our [president] knows, what he will do. Perhaps also, [Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergej] Lavrov does,” Kalousek added, hinting at Zeman’s pro-Russian stances.

 

The Communists (KSCM) chairman Vojtech Filip said before the party’s executive committee meeting today that an early election was not out of question and that the party was ready for it. CSSD’s Saturday congress outcome will also matter, Filip added.

 

Bartos said early elections were an option if it was necessary to avoid a long-term rule of a government without the parliament’s confidence or some caretaker cabinet proposed by Zeman. In such a situation, the Pirates would be trying to find 120 votes needed to dissolve the 200-member lower house of parliament, Bartos said.

 

CSSD leaders Jan Hamacek and Jiri Zimola stated on Thursday evening after a two-hour meeting with ANO that CSSD decided to remain in the opposition, because ANO had turned down all options of a government without Babis, whom they refused in the cabinet due to him being criminally prosecuted. They will suggest termination of the talks with ANO to the broader CSSD leadership this afternoon.

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