Saturday, 25 November 2017

Opposition not to lead all lower house committees

ČTK |
14 November 2017

Prague, Nov 13 (CTK) - The Pirates' proposal that the opposition should have the posts of chairpersons of all committees in the Chamber of Deputies is inappropriate, Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) told journalists on Monday.

The Mayors and Independents (STAN) say the division of the committees will depend on the future of the coalition government, but it is not yet clear who will form it.

At the weekend, the Pirates proposed that due to the plan to form a minority government of Andrej Babis' ANO, representatives of other parties should head all Chamber of Deputies committees but the organisational one.

ANO has dismissed the idea.

"I do not think this is appropriate. Anyway, there are committees and commissions that should only be headed by the opposition," KDU-CSL leader Pavel Belobradek said.

The Christian Democrats said earlier the opposition should be in charge of the Chamber of Deputies commission supervising secret services because it is an instrument to preserve democracy.

The opposition should also head the security committee, they said.

"The filling of the posts of heads of committees will depend on the decency of the coalition and its agreement with the opposition," Petr Gazdik told CTK.

In the situation after the October election, it is still unclear what parties will be in the coalition government and what in the opposition, Gazdik said.

"This will turn out at the constituent session, in the election of the chairman and bodies of the Chamber of Deputies. Pirates, too, will have to decide where should be," he added.

He pointed out the weekend decision of the Pirates' deputy group, upholding their earlier stance that they should support Radek Vondracek (ANO) for chairman of the Chamber of Deputies.

Belobradek, too, stressed this.

"There is the question of whether Pirates are in the opposition if they want to make a deal with ANO, the Freedom and Democracy (SPD) and Communists (KSCM) about the leadership of the Chamber of Deputies," Belobradek said.

"If the Pirates are ready to allow for a government without confidence [from the Chamber of Deputies], they allow a government without a control," TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek said.

Kalousek said if the opposition wanted to head all committees in the Chamber of Deputies, it would have to have majority in the lower house.

"This is nonsense. The government must have majority. It must be clear what majority can help the government, be it a minority or coalition cabinet, to rule. This is why President Milos Zeman should stand by his habit and want Babis to earmark the 101 deputies [in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies]," Kalousek said.

ANO comfortably won the elections, gaining 78 seats and leaving eight rival parties far behind with 25 seats (the Civic Democrats, ODS), 22 seats (Pirates and the far-right SPD movement each), 15 seats (the KSCM, and the Social Democrats, CSSD each), 10 seats (KDU-CSL), seven seats (TOP 09) and six seats (STAN).

A few days ago, President Milos Zeman asked Babis to start government-forming negotiations and said he would appoint Babis PM-designate as soon as the new Chamber of Deputies is constituted and the outgoing cabinet steps down. Babis has indicated he might form a minority cabinet comprised of ANO members and independent experts.

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