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ANO not to let ODS to fill seat of lower house head

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Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – The Czech election-winning ANO movement will not let the runner-up Civic Democrats (ODS) fill the post of the Chamber of Deputies chairman, ANO and ODS representatives said after their meeting on Tuesday, adding that the two parties’ possible government cooperation was not on the agenda.

Earlier on Tuesday, the ODS Executive Council confirmed that the ODS will not discuss either a joint government with ANO or its support for an ANO minority government at the bilateral meeting.

ODS previously said it will seek the post of lower house chairman for its leader Petr Fiala.

“We believe that in the situation where we are the second strongest party we should have the seat of the Chamber of Deputies chairman. We consider this reasonable,” Fiala said.

However, ANO has proposed its MP Radek Vondracek, former lower house deputy head, for the new house’s chairman.

“Our election victory is so dominant that there is no reason for our candidate, Mr Vondracek, not to be elected Chamber of Deputies chairman,” ANO leader Andrej Babis told journalists after the ANO-ODS meeting.

As an argument he gave the example of the Social Democrats (CSSD), who occupied both the posts of Chamber of Deputies chairman and the prime minister in the previous election term.

“There is nothing extraordinary about us raising such a demand,” said Babis, whom President Milos Zeman will assign to start negotiations on forming a new government next week.

Babis and Fiala said on Tuesday’s debate did not touch on their parties’ possible government cooperation at all.

“We did not negotiate about the ODS’s participation in the new government,” Fiala said.

ANO of Babis, the billionaire former finance minister, won the October 20-21 elections with almost 30 percent of the vote, gaining 78 seats in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies.

The runner-up ODS lags far behind with 11.3 percent and 25 seats, followed by another seven parties that crossed the 5-percent threshold.

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