PRAGUE (Sputnik) – About 200 people gathered in the Czech capital on Tuesday protesting against billionaire Andrej Babis, who was proposed by incumbent Czech President Milos Zeman to form the government. The meeting took place near the building of the parliament.
“We would like to show our protest against the situation, when the formation of the government has been ordered to a person suspected of a financial crime by police, as well as by the European Anti-Fraud Office,” Tomas Pecinski told reporters.
Meanwhile, the new Czech government may be approved only with another person than Andrej Babis at the post of Prime Minister due to a police investigation on fraud suspicions launched against him, the parliament’s member from the Social Democratic party, Jaroslav Foldyna, told Sputnik.
“President Milos Zeman announced in advance that he would allow Babis as the leader of the movement that had won in the October parliamentary elections a second attempt to form a cabinet, warning that Babis should agree in advance on the support by more than 100 lawmakers, but I think that this is an unlikely option. Members from all parties, except for the ANO movement, do not want to see the cabinet led by the person under investigation,” Foldyna said.
The Social Democrats’ faction will be ready to negotiate the support of a cabinet, only if there are no people under investigation in it, the lawmaker said.
“A certain way out of the situation may be the ANO movement’s decision to delegate to a post of prime minister a different person than Babis,” he noted.
According to the lawmaker, the second round of presidential elections, which will take place on January 26-27, may have some influence on the further development of the situation with the creation of a new government.
The first round of election in the European country took place on Friday and Saturday. Incumbent Czech President Milos Zeman and Jiri Drahos, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, came first and second in the first round, gaining support of some 38 and 26 percent of voters, respectively.
On Tuesday, the Czech parliament rejected the minority government headed by Babis in a 78-117 no confidence vote, with only lawmakers from Babis-led ANO movement voting in favor of the cabinet. Babis and his political and business ally Jaroslav Faltynek are suspected by the police of fraud while receiving an EU grant to one of the Babis’s firms in the amount of about two million euros (some $2.45 million). Members of the parliament’s mandate committee discussed the police’s request and advised colleagues to deprive Babis and Faltynek of parliamentary immunity.
It is expected that the ministers might announce their resignation at a government meeting on Wednesday.