Tuesday, 24 October 2017

ANO seeks election result preventing birth of anti-ANO gov't

ČTK |
11 October 2017

Prague, Oct 10 (CTK) - The Czech ANO movement wants its victory in the October 20-21 general election to be as massive as to prevent other parties from forming a government "against" it, ANO chairman Andrej Babis told CTK on Tuesday.

ANO, a part of the outgoing government, is a clear election favourite, according to public opinion polls.

In the post-election government-forming negotiations, it will be crucial for ANO that the systems of the electronic registration of sales (EET) and the ledger statements be preserved in the Czech Republic, Babis said.

He said he can see a number of common goals in the programme of ANO and many other parties, thanks to ANO's quite broad programme.

ANO will do "its utmost to prevent [rightist TOP 09 chairman Miroslav] Kalousek from forming his cabinet of traditional political parties. He is trying to do so," Babis said.

"Kalousek is trying to form an anti-Babis government. He scares people with nonsense without having a single piece of evidence to prove [his assertion about] ANO as a threat to democracy. I don't know how we could be threatening democracy," Babis said.

He said he noticed a recent decline in ANO's voter preferences, which is why he is trying to mobilise voters.

"Czech voters and people must realise that ANO is the last chance to defeat the corruption hydra," Babis said, alluding to the traditional parties.

ANO was established in the early 2010s and ended strong second in the previous general election four years ago.

Babis said ANO can cooperate with various parties, in view of its broad programme.

"We are a movement for everybody, we do not focus on a chosen segment of citizens only," he said.

He said in other parties, there are people with whom he can imagine launching negotiations, as well as those with whom he would never cooperate.

Babis said a condition for ANO's cooperation with other parties is their agreement on the preservation of the EET and the ledger statements, both steps that Babis introduced in his former capacity as finance minister and which have been opposed by critics.

"We definitely will not scrap the EET or the ledger statements because it will bring some 235 billion crowns to the public budgets. I do not understand why some want to abolish this, where they would take money to finance pensions, teachers' wages, investments," Babis said.

He indicated that he could imagine ANO cooperating with the Pirate Party (CPS), which seems to have a chance of entering the Chamber of Deputies for the first time.

"I would have no problem [governing] with them. Let them be in charge of IT and digitisation, which is their strong side. Let them show how they will put things in order for the Czech Republic to become like Estonia, where people do not have to turn up at authorities personally," Babis said.

He said he does not mind the Pirates criticising him.

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