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CZECHIA: Minority government ahead and Babis is again facing police investigation

Amid the 28th anniversary of the fall of the Communist regime, Andrej Babis raises deep concerns due to a potential secret coalition with far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) or the Communist Party (KSCM). With nearly 30% of the votes and 78 out of 200 MPs, there is no possibility for a government without ANO. However, Babis spent only two weeks of negotiations with other 8 political parties in the Chamber of Deputies without any result and willingness for a significant compromise. Hence, he is forming a minority government behind the scenes composed of current ANO ministers joined by few non-partisan experts for vacant ministries. So far, Babis seems set to lose the future vote of confidence in the parliament. Thus, he might reconstruct his minority cabinet at the second attempt or to persuade his former governmental partners, the Social Democrats (CSSD) and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) to join his cabinet. There is also a hypothetical chance for a more leftist government of ANO, CSSD and KSCM. A potential snap elections could be advantageous for ANO; however, the latest Median survey found that this is not favoured among the Czech population.

The constituent meeting of the Chamber of Deputies on November 20th, with the record high number of new MPs (124 out of 200), had a long and emotional debate mainly about the establishment of the Mandate and Immunity Committee. The police again requested the parliament to strip Andrej Babis and Jaroslav Faltynek (leaders of ANO) off their immunity and the Committee will decide whether both MPs will be prosecuted due to alleged fraud of EU subsidies for the notorious complex Capi Hnizdo (Stork’s Nest). First debates also showed two potential voting blocs of the new parliament: ANO, KSCM and SPD (115MPs in total) versus ad-hoc ‘Democratic club’ composed by right and centre parties: Civic Democrats (ODS), KDU-CSL, TOP09 and the Mayors (STAN) having only 48MPs. The Pirates and CSSD operate beyond those blocs due to their strategy (Pirates) or due to internal disputes and the upcoming party congress which will decide about the new party’s leadership after the election slump (CSSD).