Saturday, 15 December 2018

Pirates: ANO should not head Chamber's immunity committee

7 November 2017

Prague, Nov 6 (CTK) - The Pirates oppose the idea of the ANO movement heading the Czech lower house mandate and immunity committee which is to decide on the release of ANO leader Andrej Babis and ANO lower house group head Jaroslav Faltynek for criminal prosecution, they said in a press release on Monday.

Babis and Faltynek are suspected of a EU subsidy fraud related to the Stork Nest (Capi hnizdo) countryside resort and conference centre. ANO is the clear winner of the general election held two weeks ago, having 78 MPs in the 200-seat lower house.

The Pirates are calling an informal meeting of the representatives of all parties in the lower house of parliament except for ANO to discuss the heading of individual committees, including ANO's demand that it head the mandate and immunity committee.

"We believe that in terms of neutrality it would be more appropriate if some of the opposition parties chaired this committee," Pirate lower house group's head Jakub Michalek said.

The meeting should coordinate the preferences of the opposition parties concerning the heads of committees.

Pirate leader Ivan Bartos said the talks held in the last two weeks showed that several parties would like to head the same committee in several cases.

"We would like this meeting to contribute to a constructive agreement on the division of positions of lower house committee heads. The aim is to maximise the power of the opposition parties and find a way for individual parties to push through their programme priorities as much as possible through the work of the committees," Bartos said.

The lower house groups of most parties are to meet in the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday to talk about committees and the election of the house's speaker. The Civic Democrats (ODS) are seeking support for its chairman Petr Fiala who wants to fight with ANO's candidate Radek Vondracek for the post.

After one round of post-election negotiations with the other parties, Babis said he will try to form a minority government of ANO politicians and experts since no other mainstream party was ready to be ANO's government partner. Babis previously ruled out cooperation with the radical parties - the leftist Communists (KSCM) and rightist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

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