Bratislava, Sept 8 (CTK) – ANO leader Andrej Babis wants to rule the Czech Republic after the autumn general election in order to avoid his prosecution and possible imprisonment over a suspected subsidy related to his Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) farm and congress centre, Slovak daily Dennik N wrote on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Czech Chamber of Deputies stripped Babis of his MP’s immunity, meeting the police request to release him for police prosecution.
Babis himself asked other Czech MP to vote in support of stripping him of immunity on Wednesday because he knows that the decision is only temporary: his criminal case will not be decided before the October general election and he will defend his seat in the Chamber. As a result, Babis’s immunity will be renewed, his prosecution will be halted and the parliament in its new lineup will have to vote on his release for prosecution again, Dennik N writes.
The ANO movement is the clear favourite of the forthcoming election.
The paper writes that if Babis is lucky, the balance of power in the Chamber will radically change and he will not be stripped of immunity after the elections.
“Babis needs his ANO movement to win the elections in such a way that it is impossible to form a government without him,” Dennik N writes.
If all democratic parties refuse to ally with Babis, he may form a government coalition with the extreme right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) of nationalist Tomio Okamura and the extreme left Communists (KSCM), the paper writes.
However, some of the Czech democratic parties, which now pretend that a government alliance with the prosecuted Babis is unacceptable for them, may change its mind, Dennik N writes.
All Czech parties share the opinion that the ANO movement is not a standard political party but a property of the billionaire Babis. “A standard party would deal with such a problem by replacing its prosecuted leader, but in case of a sole owner it is impossible,” the paper writes.
ANO can join a government only with Babis as its leader. Without him, the party and its other politicians are nothing, Dennik N concludes.