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KDU-ČSL proposes minority cabinet of six democratic parties

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Prague, April 10 (CTK) – A minority government of the Civic Democrats (ODS), Pirates, Social Democrats (CSSD), Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09, and Mayors and Independents (STAN) would be a solution to the Czech government crisis, KDU-CSL head Pavel Belobradek told journalists on Tuesday.

He pointed out that such a coalition government would have 85 seats in the lower house of parliament, or seven more than ANO’s minority cabinet of Andrej Babis that has been ruling the country although it lost the confidence vote in the lower house in January.

The representatives of the six parties will meet on Wednesday, probably after the lower house session. They will be able to react to the result of the talks between Babis and President Milos Zeman.

ODS leader Petr Fiala asked Zeman to meet him. Fiala said ANO’s incapability to form a government led the Czech Republic into a political crisis.

Belobradek said he would propose the idea of the joint minority government to the other five parties on Wednesday.

“We reject the view that there are only two alternatives – a government with Prime Minister Babis or early elections,” he said.

“There is a number of alternatives – a cabinet without the ANO chairman, without party leaders, a semi-political cabinet, a caretaker cabinet. Somebody else than an ANO candidate may be also entrusted with forming the government,” he added.

Belobradek said the ANO movement has failed because it is incapable of forming a stable government supported by parliament six months after the elections, which harms the country and its image abroad.

He said the possible minority government of parties that are not extremist or radical could emphasise the ANO programme points.

The six above-mentioned democratic parties consider the Communists (KSCM) and the anti-immigrant Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement extremist. Babis claims that ANO is a democratic movement, which the six above parties challenged.

Belobradek said he would ask Zeman for a meeting this week.

Pirates leader Ivan Bartos said ANO did not use all the possibilities of dealing with the post-election situation. If Babis stops insisting on being prime minister, the coalition of ANO, the CSSD and the KDU-CSL could continue to rule the country. If there was to be a caretaker cabinet, it should be proposed by parliament rather than Zeman, Bartos said.

STAN lower house group head Jan Farsky said ANO showed its incapability when it negotiated about a government for five months in vain. He said the STAN would be ready to join a cabinet with a pro-Western focus and anchoring in the EU and NATO that would neither include any prosecuted minister nor rely on support from extremists.

TOP 09 chairman Jiri Pospisil said Zeman should not appoint Babis as prime minister for the second time.

SPD leader Tomio Okamura said his movement wants to discuss the implementation of its programme on the government level and he will talk about this with Zeman on Thursday.

He indicated that the lower house cooperation of ANO, the SPD and the KSCM could be applied to the government.

CSSD lower house group head Jan Chvojka said it is Zeman who has to make the next move now. “It is up to him (Zeman) whether he continues to be satisfied with how Andrej Babis is forming the government or not,” Chvojka said.

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