Andrej Babis Jan Hamacek


Babis Delays Negotiations With CSSD

Andrej Babiš, ANO, CSSD, Jan Hamacek, Miloš Zeman

Prague, May 3 (CTK) – Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) has proposed to Social Democrat (CSSD ) leader Jan Hamacek that they meet next Monday, instead of the original Friday, for the talks on the new Czech cabinet and Hamacek agreed with it, CSSD spokesman Petr Vurbs told CTK today.


The exact time, venue and format of the negotiations are yet to be agreed on, Vurbs said.


The CSSD and ANO are working on the government policy statement and coalition pact. If formed, their minority government is to be tolerated by the Communists (KSCM).


The ANO and Social Democrat deputy chairmen, Richard Brabec and Jiri Zimola, are finishing the details of the policy statement.


ANO officials believe that all the affairs may be finished by the end of the week, but Zimola disputed this, referring to possible objections from both sides.


Babis, Hamacek and KSCM leader Vojtech Filip met in the Chamber of Deputies a week ago.


They did not comment on the outcome of the negotiations, but Hamacek said they would resume this week.


The Social Democrats discussed their strategy at the meeting of their board at the weekend. It was also debated by the ANO national committee on Tuesday.


Both bodies supported the talks, but Social Democrats senators are against the party joining the planned coalition.


The Social Democrats demand that Babis should resign if he were convicted. Babis is now facing criminal charges over an EU subsidy fraud.


They also want the rest of the government to resign if the Social Democrats ministers step down.


The CSSD insists on representatives of the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) being dismissed from senior posts in the Chamber of Deputies.


So far, ANO has rejected the demands.


ANO has 78 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies, the CSSD and the KSCM have 15 seats each. ANO offered to give the CSSD five ministries in the 15-member cabinet, including the interior and foreign affairs. Babis insists on being prime minister despite his prosecution.