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PM breaches gov’t agreement, sides with opposition, Babiš says

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Prague, May 6 (CTK) – Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) has been permanently breaching the coalition agreement and has a pact with rightist opposition leader Miroslav Kalousek, Deputy PM Andrej Babis (ANO) said today in reaction to Sobotka’s words about a pact between Babis and President Milos Zeman.

On Friday, Sobotka proposed that Zeman dismiss Babis over his controversial business deals, but the Presidential Office has challenged the form of the proposal submitted.

Like Babis, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has accused Sobotka of allying with Kalousek.

In today’s issue of daily Pravo, Sobotka speaks about a Zeman-Babis power pact, within which the two back each other and do not comment on each other’s excesses.

“Mr Sobotka struck a pact with me. The pact’s name is the coalition agreement, which he and his [CSSD] ministers have been continuously violating,” Babis told CTK, referring to the agreement the three parties of the centre-left coalition government signed at the beginning of their joint rule in early 2014.

Babis said Sobotka has struck a pact with Kalousek.

Kalousek, who heads the opposition right-wing conservative TOP 09 party, is a strong critic of Zeman, of Sobotka’s government and mainly of Babis, his successor in the post of finance minister.

Ovcacek reacted to Sobotka’s words similarly.

“The prime minister heads the cabinet comprised of the CSSD, ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL). That is why it was the prime minister who signed a pact with Andrej Babis. His current withdrawal from the pact is an expedient step,” Ovcacek told Czech Television.

On Twitter, he wrote that “there is a power pact between Bohuslav Sobotka and Miroslav Kalousek.”

“At present, Kalousek is ready to support a minority government of Sobotka of which I would not be part. So what pact is the prime minister talking about?” Babis said.

Kalousek, however, told journalists on Friday that TOP 09 does not support the present government. It would only refrain from voting no confidence in it, not even if the government were a minority one, because it wants to prevent Zeman from becoming the decisive player, Kalousek said.

On Tuesday, Sobotka announced that he would hand in the cabinet’s resignation as a solution to the situation where Babis would not resign himself over his dubious business deals including suspected tax evasion and inadmissible influencing of media.

However, Zeman made it clear that he would sack only Sobotka, not the rest of the cabinet. On Friday, Sobotka said this would be no removal of the government crisis’ cause, which is why he would not hand in resignation. Instead, he has officially proposed to Zeman to dismiss Babis.


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