Prague, Oct 16 (CTK) – ANO leader Andrej Babis has been of the view that the Senate is useless for long, but a debate on the cancellation of the upper house of the Czech parliament is no priority for ANO now, Jaroslava Jermanova (ANO), deputy chairwoman of the Chamber of Deputies, told Czech Television on Sunday.

She reacted to the question of whether Babis’s statement about the Senate was caused by the defeat of ANO in the Saturday runoff vote for it.

ANO only obtained three mandates, although it won the first round and it had 14 representative in the final vote.

Babis, who expected the gain of five seats, said on Saturday that “the Senate is de facto useless, as it slows down the legislative process, costing 600 million crowns a year and it has lost the power to elect the president.”

Babis said he would not be opposed to the cancellation of the upper house.

“Those watching the development of ANO know that Babis has been saying this since the beginning. I am not fully convinced about this,” Jermanova said.

When asked why ANO has not submitted a proposal to cancel the Senate in the coalition government, Jermanova replied that at the moment, the movement had different priorities and the cancellation of the upper house was not an affair “on which ANO wants to insist.”

Another participant in the discussion, senator Jiri Cunek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), said it was unfortunate that those losing in the politics immediately present the statements in which they voice their disappointment.

“It would be perhaps better for Andrej Babis to swallow this bitter pill and to keep the words for the discussion about the future budget,” Cunek said.

The Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) won the Senate elections as they succeeded in nine out of the 27 contested wards.