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Kalousek: TOP 09 against ANO’s nominee for lower house head

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Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – Czech TOP 09 leaders told their counterparts from the election-winning ANO that TOP 09 will not back ANO’s candidate for the post of lower house chairman, and that it will not join a government of ANO, TOP 09 head Miroslav Kalousek said after a TOP 09-ANO meeting on Tuesday.

“It makes no difference which of [ANO leader Andrej] Babis’s puppets is going to fill the post of Chamber of Deputies chairman. We will support anyone else for the post,” said Kalousek, who is known as a sharp opponent of Babis, a billionaire and finance minister in the previous election term.

ANO, with 78 deputies the far strongest party in the new parliament, has proposed its MP Radek Vondracek, a former lower house deputy head, for the new house’s chairman.

The runner-up Civic Democrats (ODS) promote their leader Petr Fiala for the post.

Kalousek said the TOP 09 deputies’ group, with only seven members, will not claim the post of a lower house deputy chairperson, since there should be five deputy chairpersons in the 200-seat house at the most.

The record number of nine parties and movements entered parliament in the general election last weekend.

“Maybe some TOP 09 deputy will run [for a deputy chairperson], but if he or she failed to be elected, we will not consider it unjust,” Kalousek said.

Commenting on changes to the lower house’s order of procedure, as proposed by ANO, he said TOP 09 is opposed to those aimed to restrict democratic discussion.

On the other hand, the proposal to reduce the breaks for individual deputies’ groups to hold consultations is logical, as the current nine groups could use them to block the Chamber’s work, Kalousek said.

“We are ready to markedly reduce the two-hour breaks, because otherwise it could happen that the Chamber would hold breaks all the day long instead of discussing bills,” Kalousek said on behalf of TOP 09.

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