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Zeman, Social Democrats are against caretaker cabinet

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Prague, May 3 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman and the Social Democrats (CSSD) agree that no caretaker government should be formed after Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) tenders the government’s resignation, Interior Minister Chovanec (CSSD) said after meeting Zeman on Wednesday.

Chovanec said Sobotka did not insist on keeping the post of prime minister if his person were to be an obstacle to the formation of a new government.

However, it is of major importance for the CSSD that Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) should not be in the new government, he added.

Chovanec said he believed that Zeman would accept Sobotka’s resignation on Thursday, although Zeman did not put it clearly in their conversation.

Chovanec accused Babis of abusing the media that were owned by the Agrofert holding for attacks on his political rivals.

This is why it will be difficult to form a new government with the same coalition partners, he added.

Chovanec said he had not heard Sobotka considering resigning as CSSD leader.

He said he would tell Sobotka not to take such a step.

Chovanec stressed that the government crisis had not been created by Sobotka’s decision to resign, but by the suspicion that Babis was involved in tax evasion, which he had failed to explain in a plausible way.

“The tax evasion means that Babis gains 250,000 crowns from untaxed money a day,” Chovanec said.

The government is comprised of the CSSD, ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

On Tuesday, Sobotka announced the resignation of the whole government, citing Babis’s dubious business activities as the reason.

Until this February, when an amendment to the conflict of interest law was enacted, Babis owned the Agrofert Holding that includes the Mafra publisher issuing national daily newspapers Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) and Lidove noviny (LN).

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