PM refuses to ask lower house for vote of confidence in wake of EU audit

The embattled Czech prime minister, Minister Andrej Babiš, has refused a call from the opposition for him to ask the lower house for a vote of confidence in his minority government. Mr. Babiš made the announcement shortly after a meeting of the coalition government which discussed the present political situation in the light of a preliminary EU audit stating that the prime minister has a conflict of interest.

The prime minister’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, and the opposition Communist Party, on whose support the minority government relies, have indicated that they would continue to support the coalition government for the present time.

The head of the Social Democrats Jan Hamáček said that if it were confirmed that the companies in the Agrofert conglomerate, established by Babiš and placed in trust funds, had received grants in violation of the law the money should be returned. He said he had continued faith in the “coalition project”.