- Hans Weber
- December 7, 2023
Czech Coalition Government Under Petr Fiala Survives Third No-Confidence Vote: Stays Firm Amidst Opposition Challenges
Prague, Czech Republic – October 19, 2023 – The coalition government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) successfully weathered its third no-confidence vote initiated by the senior opposition ANO movement in the Chamber of Deputies, maintaining its majority and demonstrating resilience amidst opposition challenges.
With Members of Parliament (MPs) from all five ruling coalition parties – ODS, TOP 09, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Mayors and Independents (STAN), and the Pirates – voting against the motion, it was anticipated that the result would favor the government. On the opposition side, only ANO and the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) supported the no-confidence motion. The outcome solidifies the ruling coalition’s authority to continue governing with the confidence of the lower house.
The debate leading up to the vote in the Chamber of Deputies was a marathon, spanning over 31 hours and extending to two days. Prime Minister Fiala took to Twitter after the vote, expressing his satisfaction with the outcome and emphasizing the government’s accomplishments. He noted that the lower house had not only affirmed the confidence of MPs in the government but also validated the will of the electorate.
To unseat the government, a no-confidence vote would require the support of at least 101 MPs, a majority of the 200-seat lower house. In this latest vote, 85 MPs from ANO and SPD supported the motion, while 96 coalition MPs opposed it. Notably, 19 MPs were absent during the vote.
ANO’s deputy group chairwoman, Alena Schillerova, expressed disappointment after the vote, contending that the Czech Republic had lost. ANO’s leader and former Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, vowed to persist in their fight for the interests of the citizens, expressing a desire for a better life under what he termed an “anti-social government.”
The no-confidence motion was initiated by ANO MPs, citing concerns related to STAN leader and Interior Minister Vit Rakusan’s use of a mobile phone with an encryption application similar to that used by individuals linked to the Dosimeter corruption case within the Prague Transport Company (DPP). However, Fiala staunchly defended Rakusan, expressing unwavering trust in the minister, who maintained his innocence and clarified that he acquired the phone out of caution, not practical use.
Furthermore, some coalition politicians raised questions about ANO’s shadow interior minister, Jana Mrackova Vildumetzova, and her association with the Dosimeter case. She had borrowed a car from Zakaria Nemrah, a businessman prosecuted in the case, during her campaign for the 2021 elections. Mrackova Vildumetzova vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
This recent no-confidence vote marks the third attempt by the opposition to dislodge the government. The previous ones took place in January 2023 and September 2022, both of which were unsuccessful.
In the history of the independent Czech Republic, 19 no-confidence motions in the government have been initiated, but only one succeeded, leading to the toppling of ODS Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek’s cabinet in 2009. The current government’s resilience in the face of multiple no-confidence votes underscores the stability of the ruling coalition and the complexities of the political landscape in the Czech Republic.
Article by Prague Forum
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- Hans Weber
- December 7, 2023