The Social Democrats say all of the party’s MPs will vote against an
opposition motion of no confidence in their coalition government with ANO
next Wednesday, Czech Television reported. However, the coalition’s
junior partner have set conditions for remaining in power with ANO.
The Social Democrats want the 2020 state budget to allow for the fulfillment of their programme targets, guaranteed independence of the judiciary and the resolution of the situation surrounding the minister of culture. The party’s occupant of that post had his resignation rejected by the president, who is due to hold talks with their nominee to replace next week.
The opposition has called the no-confidence vote over a European Commission preliminary audit that found Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in conflict of interest.
The minority coalition government of embattled Prime Minister Andrej Babiš relies on the support of the Communists, giving the largely unreformed, pro-Moscow, anti-NATO party a political say for the first time since 1989. In exchange for its tolerance, the Communists have won some major policy concessions, and party chairman Vojtěch Filip seems increasingly determined to scupper a deal to buy US military helicopters to replace the Czech Army’s ageing fleet.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš remains defiant in the midst of a storm following the leaking of a preliminary EU audit which states that he has a conflict of interests and the country many have to return close to half a billion crowns in EU grants as a result. The prime minister insists that the country will not have to return anything and has refused a call for him to ask the lower house for a vote of confidence in his minority government.
The head of the opposition Civic Democratic Party Petr Fiala has urged
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to ask the lower house for a vote of
confidence in his minority government.
Mr. Fiala said that in view of the preliminary EU audit which claims the Czech prime minister has a conflict of interest it is essential to know whether the Babis government still has confidence and if so which parties support it.
The opposition centre right parties in the lower house have called for the EU audit to be discussed in a special session of the lower house, the immediate suspension of all further subsidies to Agrofert companies, for the Czech response to the European Commission’s audit to be drafted by government ministers who are not in the prime minister’s ANO party and for the audit to be made public.
As the dust settles in the wake of the European elections individual parties and movements are counting their political and financial gains and losses. The latter has little to do with the given entity’s political success, but depends largely on how much the party or movement spent on campaigning and whether they won enough votes to get a contribution from the state. In line with Czech law every party or movement that wins over 1 percent voter support gets 30 crowns for every vote collected.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s centre-right ANO party “won” the European Parliament elections this weekend. Their junior coalition partner, the centre-left Social Democrats clearly “lost”. Those are the newspaper headlines. But, as always, the political landscape is more nuanced. Mr Babiš’s foes in the main opposition parties together will have twice as many MEPs, at a time when he is under investigation for alleged EU subsidy fraud.
Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček, whose party suffered a humiliating
defeat in the European elections, has said he would not be stepping down
over the debacle, nor making any changes in the party leadership.
Hamáček said the new leadership had not had time to shift course since the party’s relatively recent election conference and that it would analyze and address the reasons behind the party’s defeat.
Losing four seats in the European Parliament is a bad blow and the party clearly needs to make a strong restart, Hamáček said. He said the party would now focus on preparing for the regional elections in the fall of next year.
In the European elections the Social Democrats only gained 3.9 percent of the vote, meaning they will not be represented in the EU Parliament.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from the ANO Party which won the elections to
the European Parliament with 21.18 percent of the vote, told reporters on
Monday that the Social Democrats debacle in the European elections would
have no influence on the work of the coalition government.
He said he considered his party’s victory a great success in view of the fact that it had been the target of an intense and vulgar smear campaign from the media and political rivals.
The prime minister refused to comment on the Social Democrats's poor showing in the European elections
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