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Poll: Czechs’ trust in president, government sharply drops

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Prague, May 30 (CTK) – People’s trust in the Czech president and the government has sharply dropped this month in connection with a political crisis that lasted several weeks, according to the May poll that the CVVM institute released on Tuesday.

The centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) was considered trustworthy by 23 percent of Czechs and untrustworthy by 74 percent, compared with 40 and 56 percent in April. The reputation of Sobotka’s cabinet has never been so bad, the pollsters said.

President Milos Zeman was trusted by 41 percent in May, while in April 55 percent trusted him. Fifty-six percent said they do not trust Zeman, compared with 42 percent in April. Zeman’s popularity has never been so low since January 2015.

People also showed high dissatisfaction with the political situation. Two thirds of people (67 percent) said they were dissatisfied, which has been the highest figure since late 2013 when the country still had no government after the elections. In April, 41 percent said they were dissatisfied with the Czech political developments.

The trust in the Chamber of Deputies markedly fell as well, from 30 to 21 percent, which has been the lowest figure in this election period.

The popularity of all the other constitutional institutions showed a drop over the past month, but it was more or less at the same level as in March.

Mayors and local authorities are traditionally the most popular, with three out of five people trusting them. The regional governors and regional authorities are trusted by two out of five, and the Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament, is popular among 27 percent.

The poll was conducted on 1,019 people on May 8-18, when the government crisis culminated.

PM Sobotka planned to offer the resignation of his government over his dispute with Deputy PM Andrej Babis (ANO). After clashing with Zeman, Sobotka decided to propose only the dismissal of the billionaire Babis, giving his dubious property affairs as the reason. Zeman hesitated to dismiss Babis, but he finally did it last week.

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