Czech parties sign an agreement to form a center-right government | Political news

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An important step was taken to replace the outgoing administration of Prime Minister Andrej Babis after the October elections.

Five Czech parties signed a pact to form a new center-right coalition government following their strong performance in last month’s vote, an important step towards replacing the outgoing administration of Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

From mildly Eurosceptic civic Democrats to the center-left liberal Pirate Party, they have vowed to cut budget deficits, which have skyrocketed since last year amid the pandemic and increases in pensions and wages.

Together, they won 108 seats in the 200-member lower house of parliament in the October 8-9 elections.

While campaigning, they said they were united by a desire to remove Babis, whom they accused of conflicts of interest through his role as the founder of Agrofert’s chemicals, food and media empire.

Babis has regularly denied wrongdoing and said he complied with legal obligations by putting companies into trust funds in 2017 before becoming prime minister.

His future successor as prime minister, Petr Fiala, said on Monday that the new coalition needed to act quickly.

“We need to solve the problems that concern people as quickly as possible and get the country out of the various crises it has gone through: health, economic and values,” he said at the launch ceremony of the pact. .

In addition to the budget deficit, which is expected to exceed 7 percent of GDP this year, the new government will face an energy price spiral and a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under Czech procedures, President Milos Zeman can appoint Fiala after the current government resigns after the inaugural session of parliament, which starts later on Monday and is expected to last several days.

Babis’s centrist ANO movement emerged as the largest party in the elections, but recognized shortly after that it could not muster a large enough coalition and said it was ready to move into opposition.

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