Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has lost a vote of confidence in parliament on Tuesday. Originally scheduled for January 10, the vote was delayed after an eight-hour debate last week. Babis, the country’s second wealthiest man, is fighting corruption allegations related to suspicious EU subsidies that benefitted his business a decade ago. Since his ANO (Yes) party won last October’s election by a large margin, it will certainly stay in power. The only question is whether Babis will remain at the helm. Parliamentarians voted 117-78 against the prime minister. Although he and his cabinet will now be forced to resign, they will nevertheless remain during the transition until a new government can be formed.
ANO is the parliament’s largest party yet makes up a minority government due to the fact that it has been unable to find coalition partners.
Sitting Czech President Milos Zeman, who himself will face Jiri Drahos in a runoff election for the post on January 26, has said he is willing to give Babis another chance to convene a new cabinet.
Last week he cited what he called “the German model,” in reference to that government’s protracted coalition talks. Like many countries throughout Europe, it too, is having difficulty forming a coalition government due to the rise of far-right and anti-establishment parties at the expense of major traditional parties.