Czech minority government wins confidence vote

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš minority government has survived a third confidence vote called by two coalitions of opposition parties (the Civic Democrats, Christian Democrats and TOP 09, Pirates, and Independents and Mayors). As expected, Communist deputies left the chamber during the vote, securing Babiš’s victory.

Among other things, the opposition party leaders claim that the ANO and Social Democrat minority government has failed to effectively fight the new coronavirus pandemic and secure strong international solidarity amid the diplomatic row with Russia. They also point to Babiš’s alleged conflict of interest and his prosecution in the Stork’s Nest case involving EU subsidy fraud.

The vote took place on Thursday evening, after some 12 hours of debate. To be approved, the no-confidence motion needed at least 101 votes out of the 200 seats in the lower house of Parliament but received only 89.  Of the MPs present, 82 voted against it.

Civic Democrat chairman Petr Fiala, speaking on behalf of the initiators of the confidence vote, said that there were many reasons for expressing distrust in Babiš’s government and that more were being added every day. Communist Party chairman Vojtěch Filip said they staged the walkout to show that although the government does not have their trust, neither do they back the agenda of the opposition.

For his part, Babiš said in his introductory speech that the opposition is trying to oust him from office and politics at all costs. He also listed accomplishments of the cabinet, including increasing pensions, teachers' salaries, and investments.

Author: Brian Kenety