Social Democrats remove last hurdle on road to new government
After eight months of stalemate the Czech Republic looks set to get a new government capable of winning a confidence vote in the lower house. The Social Democrats have endorsed a coalition agreement on forming a minority government with the ANO party which would rely on support from the Communists.
For the Social Democrats, who did poorly in last October’s general elections, this is a chance to participate in government, and they have pushed their advantage to the limit gaining five ministerial portfolios in the new cabinet. However, the decision to enter into government with ANO was not an easy one and some members vehemently opposed it – either because they don’t like the idea of entering into a coalition led by a politician accused of EU subsidy fraud or because they don’t want to have to rely on the Communist Party for support.
Social Democrat Senator Alena Gajdušková says she will respect the party’s decision with a heavy heart.
“I have said from the start that I do not consider this a wise move. There are many things that are problematic, but as they say Vox populi, vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God).”
The party’s former foreign minister, Lubomír Zaorálek says he fears the coalition may not be viable.
“We do not have a majority coalition. The coalition deal is between two parties who do not have 101 seats together, so the question is how well this set-up will function.”
So how stable will the new government be? A question for political scientist Jiří Pehe:
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is upbeat about his new government and clearly eager to get down to business. On Sunday he will present President Zeman with the new cabinet line-up and on July 11th he plans to ask the lower house for a vote on confidence.