President Zeman Advises Babis to Side With SPD, Communists

President Milos Zeman sees a way out for the Prime Minister Andrej Babis and advises ANO to form a government with the Communist Party and SPD, a hard Eurosceptic and an anti-immigration political party led by Tomio Okamura.

With the coalition talks falling apart, president Milos Zeman met with the outgoing prime minister Babis on Tuesday to review the government options.

ANO’s talks over forming a new Czech government with Social Democrats collapsed last week as Social Democracy would not accept Babis to be part of the government.

“The president recommended to me to continue negotiations with KSCM and SPD,” Babis told reporters after meeting Zeman at the presidential retreat in Lany, located 40 km west of Prague.

The arrangement would provide control over 115 out of 200 seats in the lower house. Enough for Babis to win a vote of confidence.

Babis said the ANO’s board and the party committee will meet to discuss party’s next steps.

Babis, a billionaire businessman and leader of the ANO party which won last October’s election, is in charge of a government in resignation mode since January when the administration he set up lost a confidence vote in the parliament.

Following the result of the vote, Zeman accepted Babis’s resignation but then immediately asked Babis for a second time to try to form a new government.

Slovak-born Babis continues to struggle to find ruling partners as he faces fraud charges involving a 2 million euro EU subsidy a decade ago. He repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.