The first attempt to topple Fiala’s cabinet took place last September. Photo credit: petr fiala via facebook.
Prague, Jan 19 (CTK) – The opposition failed to topple the coalition government of PM Petr Fiala (ODS) for the second time, as the MPs of all five coalition parties voted against a no-confidence motion in the cabinet in the early hours of this morning.
Only MPs from the opposition parties ANO and Freedom and Democracy (SPD) voted in favour.
In total, 81 ANO and SPD members present voted for the motion, but 102 coalition MPs voted against it and another 17 MPs were excused.
The opposition was unlikely from the outset to get the motion passed, as the governing coalition holds a majority of 108 MPs in the 200-seat house and at least 101 votes are needed for a vote of no-confidence.
The cabinet, composed of ODS, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and TOP 09 along with the Mayors and Independents (STAN) and Pirates, will therefore continue to govern with the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech Parliament.
The debate lasted two days and over 25 hours.
ANO leader and presidential candidate Andrej Babis was not present at the vote or the preceding debate.
Lower house chair Marketa Pekarova Adamova (TOP 09) wrote on Twitter that Babis would like to fight against the government as president, but when he is supposed to vote for a no-confidence motion in it, he does not show up at work.
“Citizens should know that he will always fight only for himself and the interests of his Agrofert holding,” wrote Pekarova, referring to Babis.
Besides Babis, another seven ANO MPs and three SPD MPs excused themselves from the vote. Out of the coalition, three Christian Democrats, two STAN MPs and one deputy of ODS were not present.
ANO provoked the no-confidence vote during the presidential election in the Czech Republic, claiming it was because the coalition had not let it discuss opposition issues at the lower house session the week before.
The government coalition said it was connected to Babis’s candidacy in the election.
Babis advanced to the second round of the presidential election, to be held on 27 and 28 January, along with former senior army and NATO official Petr Pavel, who won the first round.
The first attempt to topple Fiala’s cabinet took place last September.
During the debate, ANO MP Huber Lang presented part of his speech in Morse code, saying he wanted to send a “clear message” to Fiala’s coalition cabinet. In response, Jan Skopecek (ODS), chairing the session, called on MPs to maintain their dignity.