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Právo: Social Democrats may support Babiš’s government

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Prague, Dec 5 (CTK) – Some Social Democrat deputies (CSSD) are afraid of the party’s falling voter preferences, due to which they are thinking of expressing confidence in the Czech minority government that is being formed by Andrej Babis’s ANO, daily Pravo wrote on Tuesday.

Social Democrat deputy chairman Petr Dolinek is ready to let party members decide on the affair in an intra-party referendum, Pravo writes.

According to the latest poll, only 5.5 percent of Czechs are ready to vote for the Social Democrats, who suffered a crushing defeat in the October general election in which they only received 7.3 percent of the vote.

The Social Democrat deputies are afraid that the support for the party will be falling even more and that the party will not regain it if it is in the opposition, Pravo writes.

“It should be considered whether to find new faces that would be able to communicate with Babis and his ANO and participate in it [the government] or whether to tolerate at least the government in the making,” Social Democrat deputy Jaroslav Foldyna told the paper.

“Frightening the public with Babis, a businessman in politics, has not brought any result. Everyone looks at Babis. There are worse businessmen like Zdenek Bakala who influence politics behind the curtain,” Foldyna said.

A Social Democrat deputy who requested anonymity said he was primarily afraid of an early election.

“It can be devastating for us. We should prevent it we should start making politics towards this country. A red-fascist-populist coalition will not benefit this nation,” he said in a veiled reference to the government of Babis which may be backed by the Communists (KSCM) and the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

If Babis does not gain support or tolerance by the SPD and KSCM for his minority government at the first try, the 15 Social Democrat deputies should consider it whether to tolerate it at the second try, the deputy said.

However, the 15 Social Democrat deputies would not be enough for Babis to rule, because along with 78 ANO deputies, the government would only have 93 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies.

Babis might try and address ten deputies for the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Pravo writes.

It says a part of the deputies for the right-wing Civic Democratic Party (ODS) are also flirting with the idea of backing the ANO government.

Katerina Valachova, a deputy chairwoman of the Social Democrat deputy group, has also supported a discussion of changing the party’s policy, Pravo writes.

“We certainly do not support the early election. I prefer the wait-and-see position and what will be the outcome of the first try at expressing confidence in the government,” she told the paper.

“Based on the result of the talks of the deputy group and party board, we should choose the tactic for the negotiations in the second round,” Valachova said.

On the other hand, chairman of the Social Democrat deputy group Jan Chvojka is of the view that the fear of an early election or a coalition consisting of ANO, the Communists and SPD is not a sufficient reason to tolerate a government headed by Babis, Pravo writes.

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