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KSČM to support gov’t, not to provoke no confidence vote

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Prague, July 9 (CTK) – The Czech Communists (KSCM) will back the new minority cabinet of ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) in the lower house’s vote of confidence and will not provoke a vote of no confidence in the cabinet afterwards, based on the draft toleration pact between ANO and the KSCM, which CTK gained on Monday.

According to CTK’s information, the definitive version will differ from the draft only slightly. The article that binds the cabinet to submit bills to the Chamber of Deputies with regard to the KSCM’s priorities incorporated in the cabinet’s policy statement is to be extended to say that the cabinet must do so six months before the end of the election term at the latest.

Prime Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babis and KSCM chairman Vojtech Filip are to sign the pact on Tuesday, on the eve of the Chamber of Deputies’ vote of confidence in the cabinet.

ANO, the CSSD and the KSCM have a majority of 108 votes in the 200-seat Chamber.

The preamble of the ANO-KSCM draft toleration pact says the cabinet’s policy statement has been “consulted, agreed upon and drafted by joint working teams of experts from ANO, the CSSD and the KSCM.”

The KSCM submitted seven programme priorities within the recent negotiations. It demanded a permanent rise in the minimum wage, indexation of pensions, the protection of natural resources from going to foreign hands, a rise in the public sector’s participation in water management and a tax on church restitution. It also wants the cabinet to prevent a further increase in the prices of housing, support the construction of municipal flats and secure quality and accessible healthcare without patients’ increasing financial co-participation.

The KSCM, in exchange, will pledge not to provoke a vote of no confidence in the cabinet.

On the other hand, the toleration pact does not ban the KSCM from voting against the cabinet if a no confidence vote is initiated by another party.

The cabinet will not bloc the parliament debate on the bills submitted by the KSCM, but ANO will not be bound to support such bills, the draft toleration pact says.

The draft states that there are no KSCM nominees in the cabinet, which, nevertheless, “does not rule out early consultations on the filling of ministerial posts.”

The document does not deal with the personnel filling of posts on the supervisory boards of state and semi-state companies.

In case of controversies, expert teams of ANO and the KSCM, or on a higher level, the two parties’ leaders, would meet for arbitration proceedings. If no consensus were reached, the pact would be viewed as terminated, the draft says.

The fulfilment of the pact is to be checked twice a year at least or at the request of ANO or the KSCM.

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