Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Half of Czechs approve of Babiš, Zeman's post-election steps

ČTK |
20 November 2017

Prague, Nov 19 (CTK) - Almost a half of Czechs approve of the post-election steps taken by the victorious ANO movement's chairman Andrej Babis and President Milos Zeman, a poll the Median agency conducted for Czech Radio has shown.

After the October 20-21 general election, Babis is trying to form a minority government of ANO.

Zeman has had separate meetings with representatives of all parties in the new Chamber of Deputies. He vowed to give even a second government-forming try to Babis if his nascent government failed to win the Chamber's confidence.

Out of the 49 percent of the Median poll respondents approving of Babis's steps, 16 percent said they approve of them "resolutely."

Thirty-nine percent said they disapprove of Babis's steps.

"Supporters of ANO and the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement tend to approve of [Babis's] steps more than others, as do supporters of Milos Zeman," Martin Buchtik, from Median, said.

Babis, whose ANO won 78 seats in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies, has not yet won a majority support from lawmakers for his minority cabinet within the ongoing negotiations.

Zeman's steps are supported by 46 percent of people, including 17 percent approving of them "resolutely," the poll showed.

They are opposed by 45 percent of Czechs, it showed.

"Approval was less often voiced by people with university education. On the contrary, logically, Zeman's supporters in 2013 [direct presidential election] approved of his steps much more [than the rest of the population]," Buchtik said.

Zeman said he does not want Babis to submit to him signatures of 101 deputies willing to support his cabinet, so that no one could blackmail Babis while forming the cabinet.

In late October, Zeman assigned Babis to start government-forming talks. He can appoint him PM-designate and ask him to form a cabinet only after the outgoing cabinet hands its resignation to the new lower house. This can only happen after the house's bodies are established at its constituent session starting November 20.

ANO, with 30 percent of the vote, won far ahead of the remaining eight parties that also entered parliament. The second Civic Democrats (ODS) gained 11.3 percent and 25 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

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