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The Czech Communist Party has announced it is ending its support for the current governing coalition composed of ANO and the Social Democrats (ČSSD), due to disagreements over government policy. The party will not bring a motion of no confidence in the government themselves, but say they may support such a vote if proposed by the opposition. Photo Credit: Vlada.cz.

Czech Rep., Apr 14 (BD) – The Czech Communist Party has announced that it is withdrawing its support for the current minority government composed of ANO and ČSSD, following disagreements over policy. The Communist Party leadership told the media that their support for Babiš’s government will end, but that they will not call a motion of no confidence in the government themselves, preferring to support policies on a case-by-case basis.

Specifically, the Communists are unhappy at the government’s failure to deliver a promised state-owned bank. Last week the Prime Minister presented a proposal for such a bank, based on transforming the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (ČMZRB) into a bank that would be focused primarily on lending to companies and local governments. However, the Communists were not reassured by the lack of a deadline for the proposal, and doubted that it would be implemented before the election in October.

“The Central Committee stated its opinion clearly, 80% of the votes were in favor of ending the support,” said Communist deputy Jiří Dolejš, adding that trust between the parties had been broken. Asked if ANO could offer anything to change the Communists’ position, Dolejš said, “I do not believe that billions will return to government reserves, nor do I believe anything else.” However, the removal of Communist support will not necessarily lead to the collapse of the government. “I see no reason for that, especially at this time when the date of the regular elections has already been announced and we are in the process of creating a new electoral law. The government is to complete those five months,” said Dolejš. 

Babiš (ANO) told CNN Prima News yesterday that he does not believe the loss of Communist support will have a fundamental influence on government decision-making, as the government will instead seek support from all parties for new legislation.

The Communist Party will not move a motion of no confidence in the government, but may support such a motion from the opposition. “A possible vote of no confidence, if tabled by the right, would also be a way for us to express the current state of discontinuation of the confidence agreement. The Communist Party parliamentary group would then vote for a vote of no confidence,” said Communist leader Vojtěch Filip. The opposition are now discussing their next moves.

Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek (ČSSD) attributed the party’s decision to the upcoming elections. “It just seems to me that the Communists want to free their hands a few months before the elections, and that’s what is behind this,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

ODS deputy Zbyněk Stanjura said at the weekend that early elections would be the best solution, given that the government had lost confidence and support due to the Communist Party’s decision. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that the Czech Republic is currently drawing up a new electoral law to replace the previous one, parts of which were struck down by the Constitutional Court. ODS leader Petr Fiala acknowledged that any move to early elections would probably have to wait until this process was complete.

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