Czech premier faces likely lose in vote of no confidence

Czech premier faces likely lose in vote of no confidence

Photo: REUTERS/David W Cerny In the midst of fraud accusations, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babis will face

The leader of ANO party Andrej Babis speaks to the media in front of the Lany chateau after meeting with President Milos Zeman in the village of Lany near PraguePhoto: REUTERS/David W Cerny

In the midst of fraud accusations, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babis will face a no-confidence vote today.

The second-wealthiest person in the Czech Republic, Babis has been accused of illegally accessing almost $2.5 million in EU funds. His party, the centrist-populist ANO, won last October’s election by a wide margin, but only maintains 78 seats in the 200-member house.

Due to his continued promises of anti-corruption reforms and a businessman’s management of the economy, Babis remains popular among his constituents. The no-confidence vote was initially scheduled for last week but was unexpectedly delayed, something opposition parties fought through nearly ten hours of debate to prevent. Supporters of Babis cite above all else the economy: rapid growth, a public-sector budget surplus and the lowest unemployment rate in the EU.

Because Babis only controls a minority government and the allegations are severe, he will likely lose the vote of confidence. However, as Babis-supporter President Milos Zeman has promised to allow him a second chance to form a government if he loses, Babis’ populism will not disappear with this vote of no confidence alone.

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