Prague, Nov 20 (CTK) – Czech Deputy PM and ANO chairman Andrej Babis will debate the approach to an amendment to the conflict of interest law called “lex Babis” with the coalition partners from the Social Democrats (CSSD) and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) on Wednesday before the key vote.
The Senate, the upper house of parliament, returned the bill to the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house, with postponement of its effect from January until September 2017. MPs are to vote on the amendment on November 29.
Billionaire businessman and Finance Minister Babis previously asked for including the issue in the agenda of the coalition council.
The bill is to restrict the ministers’ business activities. Some parts would take effect immediately after its passage, even under the draft changed by the Senate.
The bill would afflict the Agrofert food and media concern owned by Babis as it would not have access to public contracts, incentives and some subsidies.
According to an analysis released by the server recently, firms of the Agrofert holding received public orders worth 35 billion crowns in the past ten years.
The new legislation would ban the government members and other senior officials from operating radio and TV channels and issuing periodicals. The restrictions would apply to the newly appointed government members only and would not be used retroactively.
Apart from the opposition, the bill si supported by the government CSSD and KDU-CSL.
The Chamber of Deputies passed the bill by a higher than the constitutional three-fifth majority.
President Milos Zeman has announced that he is not likely to veto the bill. However, he said laws should not be adopted because of one man, hinting at Babis.
Babis said he would be waiting for the final version of he bill.
“This is another attempt to oust me from Czech politics,” he told reporters in June before the vote on the bill.
He will probably submit a legal analysis to the coalition council on Wednesday.
The CSSD, ANO and KDU-CSL leaders will also discuss changes in health insurance, the proposal for professional group to be entitled to early retirement, the registry of contracts and the plan of Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) in support of country inhabitants on Wednesday afternoon.
($1=25.436 crowns)