It was postponed to next Tuesday – after interruption on Wednesday night – by a parliamentary vote on the Czech government.
A single agenda item on Wednesday’s parliamentary sitting was the program statement by Prime Minister Andrej Babis and a vote of confidence on the government. However, the meeting was canceled Wednesday night and the vote was postponed until Tuesday.
The immediate antecedent of the unexpected development is that the committee on maternity checks in the dinner session could not agree whether Jirí Komárek was a police officer in the matter of suspending the immunity of Prime Minister Andrej Babis. The police requested Babis and ANO’s first vice-president, Jaroslav Falty, to waive their immunity as they initiated criminal proceedings against them for allegedly abusing the European Union support for the construction of a leisure center at Gólypészek.
The hearing of the former police officer was requested by the members of the ANO, the SPD and the Communist Party of the Czech Republic and Moravia. According to them, the former police officer has information that could prove that the Babys Goblin case was organized by certain circles. The opposition opposed Jirí Komárek’s hearing and argued that a former police officer was unauthorized and was once convicted for false testimony.
After the opposition members of the mandate examination committee demanded another one-hour negotiation period, the plenary of the House of Representatives suspended the session until the Democratic Party’s proposal. Only the representatives of the Communist Party voted against the interruption of the session.
The meeting was due to be postponed to next week because, according to the rules, interpellations are on the agenda of the House of Representatives on Thursday, while Friday is not good because the election of the state begins.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Andrej Babis submitted the program of his minority government to the House of Representatives at noon and asked for the cabinet’s confidence.
Prior to that, head of state Milos Zeman addressed a half-hour speech to the deputies. He believes that the program statement submitted by the prime minister to the House of Representatives is a good starting point for the government’s future program, so he personally supports it. Zeman, however, acknowledged in his speech at the House of Commons: in the current domestic political situation, there is a high probability that the House of Representatives will not vote for the minority government.
At a brief press conference after the head of state, he confirmed that if the new government does not get trust in the House of Commons, in the second round, Andrej Babist will be entrusted with the governmental negotiations, but will only be appointed by the Prime Minister when it receives majority support in the House of Representatives.
“I report that Andrej Babis will regularly inform you of the status of his talks. At the moment when he says that he has the least 101 supporters, I will call him Prime Minister,” he said in response to a question from the head of state. His statement was not clarified.
Andrej Babis’s current government did not get this condition, so Babis formed a minority cabinet. Zeman explained this to him that he did not want Babis to be blackmailed in the governmental negotiations.
The prime minister said in a session of the afternoon session that newspapers report that if his minority government does not receive any confidence in the House of Commons, he will resign on January 17. Babis did not rule out a coalition government in the second attempt, though he personally preferred the single-colored cabinet.
In the parliamentary lower house of two hundred, the ANO movement, which is the winner of the parliamentary elections in October last year, Babis, has only 78 members, which is not enough to accept the government program. The remaining eight parliamentary parties have foreseen that they will not vote for the minority government. Their position has been reaffirmed several times in the debate on Wednesday.