SPD Announces They Will Vote Against Babis’s Minority Government

Prague, Dec 21 (CTK) – The Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) will not support the Czech minority government of Andrej Babis (ANO), not even by its MPs walking out of the session room during the confidence vote, SPD chairman Tomio Okamura told reporters after the talks with ANO representatives today.


The SPD deputies will vote against the government due to the programme discrepancies and objections to its lineup, for instance, Defence Minister Karla Slechtova.


The SPD wants her either to apologise for her statements comparing the SPD members to fascists or to leave the cabinet.


The movement has also raised objections to Transport Minister Dan Tok and Health Minister Adam Vojtech.


The SPD points out that Tok was unsuccessful in the previous coalition government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) since he had built few kilometres of motorways only. It also minds Vojtech’s proposal for the abolition of some hospitals.


Babis said he considered Okamura’s demands for personnel changes in the cabinet, appointed last week, inappropriate. He said he would not like to deal with enforcing a possible apology form Slechtova. “This is their problem, I will not solve this,” he told reporters.


However, the SPD is prepared to continue the talks with ANO if Babis were forming his second government after the first one failed in a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, the SPD leaders said.


“As far as the second round is concerned, everything is open,” SPD deputy group head Radim Fiala said, adding that this issue was not discussed today.


“In this phase, we decided that this government did not meet the programme and personnel ideas of our movement. We decided not to support the minority government not even by leaving the room,” Okamura said.


Consequently, Babis’s government should not win confidence only by the Communist (KSCM) votes and lowering the quorum thanks to the SPD MPs’ departure.


ANO has 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house, the SPD 22 and the KSCM 15.


Okamura praised today the debate on programme points with Babis. It was thorough, yet there are still discrepancies between the government policy statement and some of the SPD programme points, he added.


ANO, for instance, does not agree with the parametres of the SPD’s bill on referendum and the possibility to vote on the Czech Republic’s exit from the EU. Besides, ANO does not want to scrap state subsidies fro some political non-profit organisations.