Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – Czech Mayors and Independents (STAN) found agreement in the programme with Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO, but still they insist on the condition that criminally prosecuted politicians must not be in the government, Jan Farsky, chairman of the STAN deputy group, told CTK on Thursday.
STAN and ANO discussed support for the government Babis is forming.
ANO insists on Babis as its only candidate for the prime minister, even at the cost of the government having to be backed by extremist parties, Farsky said.
Jaroslav Faltynek, chairman of the ANO deputy group, confirmed that ANO insisted on Babis being the only candidate for the prime minister.
Farsky said the STAN set down three conditions they could not drop and on which its six-member deputy group would be ready to support the government.
“This is the Czech Republic’s pro-Western orientation, no backing by extremists either in the Chamber of Deputies or in the government and no criminally prosecuted person in the government,” Farsky said.
The Chamber of Deputies has released Babis for prosecution over his implication in an EU subsidy fraud. Babis denies any wrongdoing, calling the case politically motivated.
Farsky said the last condition did not target Babis, but it was motivated by the fear that the government might intervene in the police command or the state attorney’s office which are in charge of the prosecution.
These demands are no nonsense, Farsky said.
“To the West of the Czech Republic, politicians step down if they tell a lie in the media or copy a section of their professional studies. Here, a criminally prosecuted person is in the government, which pushes us somewhere to the East, which is wrong,” he added.
Farsky also said some agreements in the sphere of programme had been found with ANO.
He said they wanted to cooperate in the increase of salaries for teachers, in the approval of the insolvency law and dealing with housing shortage.
They also agree on the Czech Republic’s firm anchoring in the EU and NATO.
Farsky said both movements disagreed with the referendum bill, as presented by the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD). They are primarily opposed to the idea that a referendum might decide on the departure from the EU.
Faltynek confirmed agreement in these spheres.
“It is a positive conclusion from the talks that STAN representatives said they will support the bills that will be passed from the government to the Chamber of Deputies, irrespective of whether the government will have the confidence or not, provided they will be good and in harmony with their election programme,” he added.