Prague, (CTK) – The minority government of Andrej Babis (ANO) lost the confidence vote held in the lower house of Czech parliament today and it will have to submit its resignation, but it will continue ruling the country until the appointment of a new cabinet.
This result was expected since none of the other parties in the lower house showed readiness to either support or tolerate the ANO minority government.
However, President Milos Zeman repeatedly said he would entrust Babis with trying to form a new government again if his first government fails to win the confidence vote.
The ANO movement clearly won the general election last October.
Only the 78 ANO MPs voted in support of the minority government today. All the other 117 MPs voted against the government. Five MPs were absent from the lower house session.
One after another, each MP declared whether they support the government or not.
The session at which Babis’s cabinet asked the MPs for their support started last Wednesday, but it was suspended.
Before the session, only the Communists said they were considering supporting Babis’s cabinet under certain conditions. Other parties criticised Babis for leading no serious negotiations about a possible coalition government and for wanting to rule the country alone even though his ANO did not hold a majority in the lower house. Most of them rejected the idea of Babis becoming prime minister when he is facing criminal prosecution over a suspected EU subsidy fraud.
Babis has been the third prime minister in the modern Czech history whose cabinet lost a confidence vote. The first cabinet of Mirek Topolanek failed in the vote in 2006 when 96 MPs voted in support of it and 99 against it. In 2010, President Zeman appointed the caretaker cabinet of Jiri Rusnok against the will of most parties in parliament. Rusnok’s cabinet received 93 votes in support and 100 votes against in the confidence vote, which is not enough. It then ruled the country in resignation for 169 days.