Prague, June 21 (CTK) – Ladislav Sincl, a deputy for the Czech senior government Social Democrats (CSSD), will propose that the lower house mandate and immunity committee launch disciplinary proceedings against Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) over Babis’s attempt to intimidate him, Sincl told Czech Radio yesterday.
The Sincl vs Babis dispute that broke out over a draft amendment to the insurance bill earlier this week will thus continue.
Sincl asserts that in a recent parliamentary discussion about the bill, Babis, a billionaire who is a deputy prime minister and leader of the ANO movement, accused him and his family of corruption and intimidated him.
Babis dismissed any intimidation on his part. He said he only quoted the media articles about Sincl in order to highlight Sincl’s untrustworthiness.
Sincl said it was the CSSD deputies’ group that has advised him to initiate disciplinary proceedings.
“I have decided to lodge the proposal that disciplinary proceedings be launched against Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Babis in view of his latest statements and his continuing mendacious lash-outs at me, mainly in daily Pravo and on server Novinky.cz,” Sincl said.
In an interview Pravo published on Saturday, Babis repeated that Sincl has yielded to and acts under the pressure of lobbyists. He said he can see no reason to apologise to Sincl, in spite of the CSSD’s demand that he do so.
The dispute was discussed on Friday by the Coalition Council, or top representatives of the three government parties that also include the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), apart from the CSSD and ANO.
The council decided that the rift is a bilateral matter of Babis and Sincl and it is the two who should settle it.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) and other government politicians said this is not an internal coalition dispute but one in which the question of the functioning of democracy and the finance minister’s reputation are at stake.
Babis showed readiness to meet Sincl, but would not apologise to him. Sincl reacted saying he would not meet Babis.
Disciplinary proceedings may result in a “culprit” being fined up to the size of a lawmaker’s monthly salary.