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Právo: Zeman and Babiš may eventually be abandoned by all

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Prague, May 10 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman and Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) may eventually be left alone in the world due to the current government crisis, which actually seems to be part of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s (Social Democrats, CSSD) strategy, Jiri Pehe writes in Pravo today.

He writes that Zeman and Babis may not be realising that they are currently dancing to Sobotka’s tune.

It is difficult to say whether Sobotka knew beforehand that Zeman will be unable to respect the constitution simply because of his conceit and vindictiveness, Pehe writes.

It is likewise difficult to say whether Sobotka knew beforehand that Babis, exposed to pressure for his resignation as finance minister due to the growing number of scandals in which he is implicated, will behave as an unmanageable child, Pehe writes.

One thing is sure. In the light of the Zeman-Babis duo’s behaviour, Sobotka, who seemed to be a candidate for being put on the scrapheap during the spring, is getting back his breath, Pehe writes.

Actually, the worst thing that could happen to him now is Zeman’s dismissing Babis without a delay.

This would allow Babis, gaining an aura of a martyr, to immediately launch a campaign before the regular general election to be held on October 20-21, Pehe writes.

The longer Zeman and Babis protract the struggle for Babis’s staying in the government, resorting to absurd excuses such as that the government coalition agreement stands above the constitution or that Zeman wants to first know the name of Babis’s successor, the more they will be weakening their voter support, Pehe writes.

This will play into the hands of Sobotka and his CSSD as well as the other parties that will support Sobotka’s struggle with the less and less attractive Zeman-Babis power duo, Pehe writes.

True, the hard cores of the supporters of Zeman, who will seek re-election in early 2018, and Babis have the features of sects whose support for their leaders will not be weakened by any act or suspicion, Pehe writes.

However, both voter camps have “soft” parts, or voters who would abandon them if the two politicians’ arrogance exceeded tolerable limits, Pehe writes.

In the first direct election in 2013, the hard core of Zeman’s voters amounted to slightly over 20 percent, while the others supported him in the run-off vote only as “a lesser evil,” Pehe writes.

Babis’s situation is similar. Quite a lot of people voted for him not because they were convinced of his qualities and programme, but because they considered him a smaller evil compared to the mainstream parties, Pehe writes.

The longer the two politicians’ awkward performance continues, the more likely it will be that the soft cores of their voters will start to fall apart, Pehe writes.

He adds that it is difficult to predict now whom they will cast their votes for.


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