Czech leader Andrej Babiš clung onto his prime ministership Thursday after a no-confidence motion called by the opposition failed.
The opposition called the vote after a preliminary European Commission audit leaked to local media found that Babiš, one of the richest men in the Czech Republic, had breached conflict-of-interest rules in connection with subsidies paid to his Agrofert holding company. And an estimated 250,000 Czechs took to the streets on Sunday to protest his leadership after Czech police recommended Babiš be charged with subsidy fraud involving the €2 million in EU funds.
Czechs also object to Babiš’ recent appointment of Marie Benešova, a close ally, as justice minister, with protesters presuming she will not pursue criminal charges against the prime minister.
Babiš denied any wrongdoing. “I take this initiative as an effort to destabilize our country,” he told lawmakers in advance of the no-confidence vote, Reuters reported.
Babiš survived the motion after retaining the votes of his coalition partner, the Social Democrats, as well as Communist lawmakers who back the minority government.