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Prague coalition threatened with split over Libeň Bridge

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Prague, April 27 (CTK) – The Prague ANO representatives want to stir up 30-day proceedings with the Social Democrats (CSSD) and the three-party alliance to decide whether their joint coalition at the City Hall will end or continue, Mayor Adriana Krnacova (ANO) told reporters on Friday.

The Three-party Coalition is comprised of the Greens, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and the Mayors and Independents (STAN).

The conflict in the Prague coalition was stirred up by the Thursday meeting of the Prague Assembly where the Three-party Coalition members did not support the agenda due to the dispute about the future of the 90-year-old Liben Bridge.

Representatives of the alliance of Greens, STAN and the KDU-CSL are of the view that their Prague coalition with ANO and the CSSD should continue and at the same time they insist on their demand that the Liben Bridge not be pulled down, Prague Greens chairman Ondrej Mirovsky, Deputy Mayor Petra Kolinska (Greens) and councillor Jana Plaminkova (STAN) told reporters on Friday.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved the demolition of the Liben Bridge, a significant sight of the interwar architecture, due to its poor technical condition and to enable its replacement with a new bridge. The project still requires consent of the City Assembly.

The demolition was supported by seven councillors from ANO and the CSSD, while the three-party alliance voted against it.

The ANO assembly members’ group agreed on Friday to launch proceedings on the basis of the coalition agreement’s provision to hold talks and seek solutions how to continue with this coalition, ANO group chairman and Prague councillor Michal Hasek said without elaborating.

Information emerged behind the scene about a minority coalition to be formed of ANO and the CSSD and supported by the Civic Democrats (ODS) at the Prague City Hall.

However, neither Hasek nor Krnacova confirmed these speculations.

The current coalition has a narrow majority of 33 seats in the 65-seat City Assembly, while ANO and the CSSD together have 25 seats and the ODS eight, the same number as the Three-party Coalition.

The Liben Bridge, designed by architect Pavel Janak (1882-1956) and built by bridge constructor Frantisek Mencl (1879-1960), connects the Holesovice neighbourhood on the left bank of the Vltava (Moldau) River with Liben on the right bank. It was opened on October 29, 1928 on the tenth anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia.

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