Czech parties reach agreement on coalition government

Published : November 03, 2021 15:35 IST

Petr Fiala's coalition Spolu (Together) garnered 27.8 per cent of the vote in the October election. Photo: Darko Bandic/AP Photo/picture alliance

Czech centrist and center-right parties are set to sign the coalition agreement on November 8, a party leader said.

The leader of a Czech center-right party alliance Petr Fiala said late on November 2 that the parties in talks to form the country's next government have reached an agreement. The centrist and center-right parties are seeking to sign the agreement on a majority coalition government on November 8, Fiala said.

"We have gone through a long, whole day, but also successful negotiations," Fiala said at a televised briefing after talks which lasted more than 12 hours.

President still hospitalized

Fiala, who is poised to become the next Czech prime minister, said he has a tentatively arranged meeting with President Milos Zeman — once his health condition allows. Zeman has been hospitalized for nearly a month. The speaker of the Senate said the president was unable to carry out his official duties due to his health.

If the Czech president is unable to perform his duties, his powers are typically assumed by the prime minister and the speakers of both houses of parliament. The new speaker of the lower house would be the one with the power to select the country's next government and prime minister. The new parliament is expected to meet on November 8 to elect the speaker and other officials.

The end for Babis?

Populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis is still in office. Babis had hoped to secure another term but was narrowly defeated by the opposition in the October election.

Zeman had previously said he would only give the mandate to a single party and not to a coalition of different political groupings. Before his hospitalization, the president had also invited Babis, an ally, to talk about his chances of continuing in office. However, it would be up to the new parliament speaker to dismiss Babis' government, after several scandals, and name his successor.

fb/jsi (Reuters)

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