Andrej Babis


Babis: No Plan B In Case Social Democrats Reject Cabinet

Andrej Babiš, ANO, CSSD, KSCM, Miloš Zeman

Prague, May 27 (CTK) – The Czech ANO movement is not preparing any Plan B in case the Social Democrats’ (CSSD) rejected the project of an ANO-CSSD cabinet in their internal referendum now underway, ANO deputy chairman Richard Brabec said in a debate on Czech Television today.


In the referendum, the CSSD rank-and-file are deciding on whether to form a minority government with ANO, the winner of the October 2017 elections, which would be kept afloat by the Communists (KSCM). The referendum result is to be known on June 15.


“We have no Plan B, nor are we preparing any. I dismiss the views by some that ANO pretends negotiations with the CSSD but is in fact preparing a different [government] variant based on [what critics call] the voting machine,” said Brabec, who is deputy PM in the current ANO minority cabinet which does not enjoy parliament’s confidence and continues ruling until its successor is established.


“The voting machine” is how some opposition parties call recent repeated joint voting of ANO, the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Communists (KSCM) in the Chamber of Deputies, where the three parties together command a majority of 115 votes out of the total 200.


Brabec said he does not consider an early general election an appropriate solution.


Civic Democrat (ODS) leader Petr Fiala, who also attended the debate, said an early election is the least possible scenario.


His view was shared by Pirates chairman Ivan Bartos.


Fiala said the country finds itself in the deepest and longest political crisis since the 1989 fall of communism, for which ANO leader and current Prime Minister Andrej Babis is mainly responsible.


Fiala said President Milos Zeman is also to blame because he says ANO need not seek a majority support in parliament, as he wants Babis for prime minister at any cost.


Bartos said critics succeed in addressing questions to Babis in the Chamber of Deputies now and then, but Babis only answers those he feels like answering.


Babis and other ministers of the ANO cabinet usually attend lower house sessions, while Babis always gives a planned speech and leaves. “As a result, we, the opposition deputies, are watching empty government seats [in the lower house],” Bartos said.


Defending the cabinet, Brabec said Babis has not been shunning discussions and in the past, too, prime ministers were absent from parliament sessions due to their busy schedule.


The Communists recently said they would not back the nascent ANO-CSSD cabinet if its goals include an extension of Czech participation in foreign military missions. Brabec said today that to ANO and to him personally, it is absolutely inadmissible to put the country’s pro-Western policy at stake.