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Babiš again invites ODS, Pirates to talks about new gov’t

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Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – ANO movement leader Andrej Babis again called on the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the Pirates to negotiate about a possible joint Czech government before the vote of the chairman of the Chamber of Deputies at its constituent session on Wednesday.

“I am ready,” Babis said about his readiness to negotiate about a future government.

The ANO movement clearly won the general election held a month ago and it gained 78 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies. The ODS followed second, with 25 seats, and the Pirates gained 22 seats.

Babis said ANO made a coalition pact with neither the Communists (KSCM) nor the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD). He also said he did not want to rule the country with a minority government that would not win the confidence motion in the Chamber of Deputies.

After a Communist MP won the post of the mandate and immunity committee head thanks to votes from ANO, the KSCM and the SPD earlier on Wednesday, some other parties said this showed that ANO, the KSCM and the SPD made a pact.

The mandate and immunity committee is important because the Chamber will take a vote on the possible release of Babis and ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek for criminal prosecution over a suspected EU subsidy fraud.

The SPD (22 seats) and the KSCM (15 seats) were also ready to support Radek Vondracek (ANO) for the Chamber’s chairman in the secret vote on Wednesday. Vondracek was the only candidate for the post and he won 135 votes this afternoon. The centre-right Democratic Bloc of four parties including the ODS (48 seats) said it would abstain from the vote.

Babis said the Pirates might be in charge of IT in the government.

The ODS previously rejected talks about its government with ANO.

Babis was entrusted with leading negotiations about forming the next government. He said previously he would form a minority cabinet because he did not want to rule together with the KSCM and the SPD and all the other parties refused to ally with him.

Babis said in parliament on Wednesday an early election seemed the best possible solution if he failed to form a government twice. The early election could be held in October 2018 together with the local elections. “We may agree to dissolve it (the Chamber of Deputies) after the second (unsuccessful) attempt to form a government,” he said.

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