Centre-right parties fail to push through demand for ministers to produce clean screening certificates

The centre-right opposition parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats on Friday failed to push through their demand for an amendment to the civil service bill which would make it compulsory for ministers to produce clean screening certificates as proof they do not have a communist past. This has been a matter of contention between the governing coalition and the opposition ever since Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s centre-left government took office. The finance minister in Mr. Sobotka’s cabinet, TOP 09 leader Andrej Babiš, has failed to produce a clean screening certificate. Mr. Babiš’ appointment to the post caused controversy and although a court in Bratislava later ruled that Andrej Babiš was falsely described as being an agent of the Communist era secret police, critics say his past contacts with the communist secret police present a problem.