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CZECHIA: Government of Andrej Babis to take power on December 13

On December 6, President Milos Zeman has officially appointed Andrej Babis a new Czech Prime Minister replacing Bohuslav Sobotka. Zeman also confirmed that the new government is to be appointed on December 13 giving the leader of ANO Babis a month to find a support for his minority government in the new Chamber of Deputies. After the failure of post-election negotiation, Babis decided to establish a minority government composed of current ANO ministers, ANO MPs and non-partisan experts including Babis’ ally Alena Schillerova as the new Minister of Finance (current Deputy Minister), Tomas Huner as the new Minister of Industry and Trade (current Siemens manager and former Deputy Minister of Industry for Energy); or Lubomir Metnar (current security director of Vitkovice district) as the new Minister of the Interior. His nomination was met with negative reactions due to his involvement in a controversial ‘BOS’ political movement (established by former security and police forces). ANO members Richard Brabec (Environment), Dan Tok (Transport) and Robert Pelikan (Justice) keep their posts whereas Karla Slechtova moves to the Defence Ministry replacing Martin Stropnicky (ANO) who will become a Foreign Minister.

With only 78 MPs out of 200, Babis needs to obtain a majority support for his minority government, therefore he created a tacit coalition with far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Communist Party (KSCM). Under specific circumstances, KCSM is open to supporting the minority government. SPD might leave the confidence vote parliamentary meeting in order to lower the required quorum. Otherwise, Babis supported by President Zeman will be given another chance to create a second government, this time he might try to restore the former coalition of ANO, CSSD and the Christian Democrats.