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ANO, ČSSD, KSČM agree on cooperation in Central Bohemia

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Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – ANO, the Social Democrats (CSSD) and Communists (KSCM) have signed agreement on cooperation in the Central Bohemia Region’s leadership, having 35 seats in the 55-seat assembly, while Jaroslava Pokorna Jermanova (ANO) remains regional governor, she told reporters on Tuesday.

She dismissed the speculations saying Andrej Babis, chairman of ANO, which scored a landslide victory in the October 20-21 general election, was behind the change of the regional coalition.

Only ANO and the CSSD will be represented in the 11-seat regional council. ANO will have six and the CSSD five seats. The council in its new lineup was elected on Tuesday.

Talks with the Civic Democrats (ODS) about an alternative coalition collapsed.

Representatives of the Mayors and Independents (STAN) said they would like to be a fair, but hard opposition.

They criticised the return of the Communists to power, STAN deputy chairman Vit Rakusan said, adding that people ceased being sensitive to this.

He also pointed out that two former CSSD governors would return to the council along with former deputy governor for the CSSD, Zdenek Seidl, who had been responsible for health care in Central Bohemia under the era of governor David Rath (previously CSSD), charged with extensive corruption related to hospitals run by the region.

“This is completely unacceptable,” Rakusan said.

Rath, former CSSD lawmaker (2006-2012), Central Bohemia governor (2008-2012) and health minister (2005-2006), was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for corruption linked to manipulated public orders in the region, but the original verdict was annulled and the Regional Court started dealing with this case again this week.

On Monday, the ANO movement announced to its partners in the regional coalition, STAN, the ODS and the Independents Central Bohemians, that it would withdraw from their coalition agreement.

Pokorna Jermanova cited the lack of competence of the STAN councillors as the reasons. The region is drawing little money for investments due to STAN’s poor work, she said.

STAN representatives dismissed the criticism and called it expedient.

The final straw was the STAN press conference in the Chamber of Deputies on Monday where its representatives were speaking negatively about ANO, Pokorna Jermanova said.

The coalition crisis in Central Bohemia erupted after ANO was reproaching STAN councillors for bad work. STAN claimed this was expedient criticism and that a new coalition was being negotiated behind its back.

The original coalition filled 44 seats in the regional assembly. ANO has 16 mandates, STAN 15, the ODS ten, the Independents Central Bohemians, who were originally running for TOP 09, has three, the CSSD and the KSCM, which were in opposition to date, has 11 and eight respectively, and TOP 09 two.

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