Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Sme: Czech parties face dilemma of cooperation with Babiš

14 July 2017

Bratislava, July 13 (CTK) - Democratic parties in the Czech Republic will face a difficult dilemma of whether they should give up their programme and form a coalition with Andrej Babis's ANO movement or cooperate with him at least after the October general election, Slovak daily Sme wrote on Thursday.

The paper describes the current government ANO as well as the opposition Communists (KSCM) and the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) of Tomio Okamura as the parties that will drag down their partners to the bottom regardless of the success of a possible coalition with them.

Babis is not questioning the orientation of the Czech Republic towards the West and he is not introducing dictatorship outwardly, Sme says.

During the four years in a coalition government with the Social Democrats (CSSD) and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Babis has basically met their written agreements. Despite that, cooperation with him is "toxic," Sme's commentator writes.

"You may be sitting with him at one government table for four years, yet you will be constantly hearing that you are part of the corrupt political establishment that he despises. He will ascribe all successes to himself and blame his coalition partners for the failures, he will call an effort to lead a discussion a prattle that is just paralysing the state's ability of action," the paper writes.

It also says Babis is collecting compromising documents about his coalition partners and he does not hesitate to release them to the public in the media that he controls at the right time. These media outlets will not mention ANO's scandals and this is why it seems at first sight that the government is working thanks to Babis only.

"These months, the Social Democrats, who are on the verge of their historical defeat, have paid dearly for this. Though Babis's toxin has not corroded them fully yet, it has deprived them of a half of the voters in four years. The continuation of such a governance might bury them completely," Sme adds.

Okamura, for his part, has brought a mixture of racism and fantasies about direct democracy to Czech politics, which is just to cover the fact that his movement has no programme at all, Sme writes.

When it comes to the KSCM, Sme continues, no democratic entity can cooperate with a party that has not given up its totalitarian past. No one wants to get into coalition disputes about whether the country should leave NATO, which is the main point of the Communists' programme in foreign policy, Sme adds.

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