Prague, Jan 25 (CTK) – Czech ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek has left the board of Agrofert holding, which belongs to Finance Minister Babis (ANO) because Babis wants to get rid of the holding due to the conflict of interests law, Faltynek told the server Lidovky.cz yesterday.
Lidovky.cz writes that Faltynek left the Agrofert board at the end of last year.
According to a record in the public register of companies, he was confirmed in it repeatedly, most recently on December 20.
Faltynek, 54, said it was logical for him to leave Agrofert because Babis would no longer be its shareholder.
Babis is giving up the holding over the law on the conflict of interests, passed in mid-January.
It stipulates that as of February 9, the government members’ firms will not be eligible for public contracts, subsidies that are not granted automatically and incentives. It is dubbed Lex Babis as some believe it is aimed to restrict his business activities.
Babis wants to transfer the holding to a trust fund.
The legislation includes a the clause banning the government members’ operating radio and television broadcasters and publishing the periodical press.
However, this part of the law will only refer to the government that will arise from the autumn election to the Chamber of Deputies.
Agrofert comprises the Mafra publishing house with the dailies Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) and Lidove noviny (LN) and Babis also owns the Impuls radio station and Ocko music television station .
Babis has protested against the law, calling it anti-constitutional.
The view is shared by President Milos Zeman whose veto was overridden in the Chamber of Deputies earlier this month.
ANO deputies and Zeman may turn to the Constitutional Court with a complaint.
According to the Forbes magazine, Babis’s property is worth 2.4 billion US dollars and he is the second richest businessman in the Czech Republic, after Petr Kellner (11.4 billion US dollars).
Babis is a food and media mogul who helped establish the Agrofert company in the 1990s. He gradually gained full control of it.
In autumn 2011, Babis founded the movement Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO) that was transformed into ANO 2011.
It is a part of the three-party coalition government along with the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL). Now it has the best poll ratings, giving it a fair chance of winning the autumn election to the Chamber of Deputies.