Sunday, 30 April 2017

PM Sobotka: Babiš is not socially-sensitive billionaire

ČTK |
13 March 2017

Brno, March 10 (CTK) - Czech ANO head Andrej Babis is not a socially-sensitive billionaire, but man who does not like democracy, Prime Minister and Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman Bohuslav Sobotka said in his nomination speech before the election of a new CSSD chairman on Friday.

He said Babis wants to gain uncontrollable power by all means and warned of the emergence of a rightist government, which could be formed by an alliance between ANO and the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) after the October general election.

The CSSD, ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) formed the current coalition government in January 2014.

Babis messaged to CTK that it is not true that he does not like democracy.

He wrote that he wants democracy without hypocrisy and corruption and accused Sobotka of being directed by lobbyists and playing into their hands.

"I cannot understand why the prime minister has been sitting with me on the government for three years if he is saying this now," Babis wrote.

"I want to win the election, to form the next government," Sobotka said, adding however, that he would only participate in such a government in which the CSSD would be capable of asserting its programme.

ANO, which gave its chairman Babis an unlimited right to interfere with the election lists of candidates at its recent congress, has been leading public opinion polls in the long term.

Sobotka does not have a counter-candidate in the election of the party chairperson.

"The (general) election will be about the character of this country, I cannot be only looking on. I want to throw all weight behind the struggle for the future character of the country, I want to organise and lead you in this struggle," Sobotka said, adding that he will not be afraid of making decisions.

Sobotka said the CSSD has done well in the government.

He repeated that he would like Milan Chovanec to again be his first deputy.

Chovanec will be fighting for the post with Jeronym Tejc, a critic of the incumbent party leadership.

"The party chairman cannot be fighting on several fronts before and during the (general) election. He must be able to fully rely on his first deputy chairman. You cannot keep secret from citizens if it does not function like this. People recognise this and it affects the whole party," Sobotka warned.

He said previously already that he does not trust Tejc.

"People do not vote for internally squabbling parties," Sobotka said and called for the party's unity.

Sobotka said he wants to have the highest possible support before the general election, but added that he knows he will not gain 90 percent of the vote.

The election of the chairperson is to start at about 14:00 hours.

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