Czech press survey
Prague, Dec 21 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s outlooks for “Christmas presents” are improving since it seems that his cabinet will win confidence in the Chamber of Deputies sooner or later, Lukas Jelinek writes in daily Pravo today.
Not only the ultra-right and ultra-left parties, such as the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Communists (KSCM), are willing to support Babis’s minority cabinet, but even some mainstream parties, in particular the Social Democrats (CSSD), have indicated that they might back Babis’s second try to form a government.
Babis can choose now. He can either govern alone with the SDP and the Communists behind his back or not hurry up and strike a deal with his former coalition partners, the CSSD and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), a few weeks or months later. Another option is his minority cabinet dependent on the Social Democrats and Communists in a way, Jelinek says.
Moreover, not even the right-wing parties declare their zero tolerance of Babis’s government any more. On the contrary, they say they would support particular useful bills promoted by his cabinet.
The first signal of a changing atmosphere in the Chamber of Deputies was 140 MPs, from the former government coalition parties as well as the KSCM and the SPD, voting for the 2018 state budget, Jelinek writes.
Why all the fuss about Communist (KSCM) MP Zdenek Ondracek to head the lower house commission supervising the General Inspection of Security Forces (GIBS) when the same man, who was in a riot unit beating people under the previous regime, occupied similar senior posts in parliament in the past, Petr Kolar writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.
Ondracek was eventually not elected the commission’s chair due to confused voting.
However, Kolar adds, in the previous term, Ondracek was a member of the lower house commission supervising the BIS counter-intelligence service and of the constitutional-legal committee. Moreover, he headed a subcommittee for the police and security services. Only former TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek stood up against this in the Chamber of Deputies then, but no one was protesting as loudly as now, Kolar says.
He points to the toleration of the Communists since 1990 and primarily to the fact that this party was not banned as a criminal organisation immediately after the Velvet Revolution.
“Do you still think that Ondracek is the biggest problem? Let us rather be glad that the KSCM gained under 8 percent merely in the (October) election, which is its far worst result since 1990,” Kolar concludes.
It is alarming that a vast majority of deputies could vote for the election of Communist Zdenek Ondracek as head of the GIBS commission, Zbynek Petracek writes in Lidove noviny (LN) today.
He was not elected eventually because of a formal shortcoming only.
Yet the fundamental question sounds: Why did Ondracek gain a majority of 95 MPs out of the 179 present? Why did so many lawmakers vote for the man who was in the Communist police riot regiment beating peaceful demonstrators in January 1989?
Exactly due to this, and not over his membership of the pre-1989 Communist Party (KSC) and its successor KSCM, and the fact that he defended the police action on TV and has never clearly apologised for it, he should be disqualified from heading the Chamber of Deputies commission supervising the police, Petracek points out.
However, he was disqualified by a mere technical error and not by a majority of votes so far, at least until another vote to be held after January 16, Petracek writes in conclusion.
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