Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 21st, 2018

Majority Government Eludes Czech PM Babis As Coalition Talks Fail

Majority Government Eludes  Czech PM Babis As Coalition Talks Fail

PRAGUE - The chances of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis forming a majority government suffered a blow on Friday, with the Social Democrats officially breaking off coalition talks, raising the risk of early elections.
Talks between Babis’s ANO party - which won three times as many votes as its nearest rival in a parliamentary election last October - and the Social Democrats broke down late on Thursday evening in a row over ministries.
The Social Democratic Party’s leadership met on Friday and endorsed its top officials’ recommendation to end talks with ANO, after Babis rejected its request to be given control of the finance or interior ministries in any alliance.
“The leadership approved unanimously the steps that we made in negotiations about a possible coalition with the ANO movement and it also ended talks with ANO about creating a coalition,” Social Democrat vice-chairman Jiri Zimola told reporters.
The move will leave Babis with no viable governing partner for now. Most parties are shunning the billionaire businesman-turned-politician while he fights police allegations he illegally obtained a 2 million-euro EU subsidy a decade ago.
Babis denies wrongdoing and has refused to step aside as prime minister, as most parties have demanded. (Reuters)