Andrej Babis Jan Hamacek

Matt Atlas

Babiš Rejects CSSD’s Call to Step Aside: ‘I’m the only candidate for PM’

Babis wants to negotiate with Hamacek about the government. ‘I’m the only candidate for the prime minister,’ he told the new chairman.


Prime Minister in resignation Andrej Babiš (ANO) wants to meet with newly elected CSSD chairman Jan Hamacek and discuss with how social democracy could enter the government or tolerate the Cabinet. He told reporters Sunday after dinner with President Milos Zeman. At the same time, he refused the option of not being personally in the government. The CSSD convoy on Sunday called on ANO not to nominate the prosecuted persons to the government.


Babiš expects to meet the CSSD at the meeting with Hamáčka. “We will not come with anything. We will invite Mr. Hamacek and we will act and they have to tell us what conditions they would like to either tolerate or go to the government, “he told reporters. He reiterated that he would give priority to the creation of a minority ANO cabinet, which would be supported by other parties in exchange for concessions. In the first attempt to form the government, the Minority ANO Cabinet did not gain confidence.


Babiš ruled out that he would not become prime minister, which ČSSD demanded for their support to the government. “I like to hear it personally. I think the CSSD is well aware that the movement has decided that I am the only candidate for the prime minister, “he said.


Dispute over ministry


The head of the ANO rejected the views expressed at the CSSD’s congress that the Social Democrats should get the ministries of labor and health in the case of governmental participation, because they have the center of gravity of the program. “The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and Health are key to us. They had the two ministries, they could show us something for four years and did not show anything, “he said.


Babiš also told reporters he congratulated Hamak before dinner with Zeman.He also welcomed the fact that the former CSSD chairman Milan Chovanec did not become the chairman of the CSSD, with whom he had disputes in the past. “For me, the deal with Mr. Chovance was absolutely unacceptable. He is the person who is the worst thing in the Czech politics, “he said, accusing Chovants of being an interior minister in the past government abusing his office.


Government negotiations


Babiš and Zeman also talked about the bargaining before the government.Zeman confirmed that he will meet with KSČM and SPD presidents next week Vojtěch Filip and Tom Okamura, who did not exclude the support of the YES government.Babiša awaits Wednesday talks with ODS chairman Petr Fiala on European issues, meeting with representatives of STAN on Thursday.The date of the meeting with Hamak is not yet scheduled.


The prime minister also said he would like to form a new government as soon as possible. But he ruled out that it could happen by the end of February.