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Zeman diverting attention from Babiš’s problems, PM says

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Prague/Luxembourg, May 11 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman’s Wednesday meeting with coalition government parties representatives was only to deflect attention from the problems faced by Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) and his duty to dismiss him, PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) told journalists yeterday.

Zeman should observe the rules of the game and dismiss Babis, Sobotka said during his visit to Luxembourg.

At the Wednesday meeting in Liberec, north Bohemia, unattended by Sobotka as he was in Luxembourg, Zeman unveiled two proposals with which to solve the current government crisis, either an early election or a government without both Babis and Sobotka.

The coalition parties representatives rejected the former proposal and are about to discuss the latter in their parties.

Sobotka said in creating the scenarios, Zeman was only trying to divert attention from what was substantial.

He added that these were the problems of Babis and Zeman’s duty to dismiss Babis as proposed.

“Although the proposal (to dismiss Babis) has been at the Prague Castle (the seat of Czech heads of state) since Friday, Zeman has not yet complied with it,” Sobotka said.

“In my view and according to constitutional experts, Zeman should act without any useless delay, not creating any scenarios. In doing so, he is diverting the attention from his duty,” Sobotka said.

On Wednesday, the Chamber of Deputies passed a resolution at its special session calling on Zeman to observe the constitution with no procrastination.

Sobotka argues that Babis should leave the government as he was implicated in dubious financial transactions and perhaps also in tax evasion.

Babies denies any wrongdoing. Zeman has refused to dismiss him.

The Senate may propose a constitutional lawsuit against Zeman next Tuesday unless he sacks Babis as finance minister, Senate chairman Milan Stech (CSSD) said on Tuesday.

During his visit, Sobotka also laid flowers at a commemorative plaque to Czech Jan Palach who immolated himself in protest against the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1969.

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