Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Opposition rejects Babiš as head of Justice Ministry

10 July 2018

Prague, July 9 (CTK) - The centre-right opposition welcomed the resignation of Czech Justice Minister Tatana Mala (ANO) over a plagiarism scandal on Monday, but it considers bizarre and alarming that the post is to be temporarily held by Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), who is prosecuted over an EU subsidy fraud.

On the other hand, the Communists, who have pledged to support the new coalition government of ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD), said Mala's resignation was an offense to the rule of law and the victory of mediocracy.

Tomio Okamura, the leader of the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), said the affair was a "an absolute shame and failure."

Petr Fiala, the leader of the main opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS), said Mala's resignation was the only option.

"The responsibility for this state of affairs is shared by Babis since he proposed Mala to the post," Fiala said.

He said Babis could not ask the Chamber of Deputies for confidence with an incomplete government. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday.

"This is why Babis should postpone the confidence vote until the time when the names of full-fledged ministers are known," Fiala said.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek (CSSD) is also entrusted with heading the Foreign Ministry temporarily.

The Pirates said it was ludicrous that Babis was to become the justice minister, though temporarily.

"Babis as a justice minister? One thought that this could not be worse when it comes to the post of justice minister, but he has managed to do so," Jakub Michalek, chairman of the Pirates deputy group, said.

TOP 09 leader Jiri Pospisil said Mala's resignation was the only reasonable solution.

"As she is burdened with so many doubts and scandals, she would not have a strong position at the head of the office. Due to this, she would not be able to implement the necessary reform," Pospisil said.

Communist leader Vojtech Filip said he believed Mala's end was a victory of the media pressure.

"This is not good new for parliamentary democracy, but maybe good news for mediocracy," he added.

Mala was forced to step down over plagiarism allegations relating to her two theses. She denies any wrongdoing.

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