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Will Babiš be back in the post of the Czech Prime Minister?
10. 10. 2021 / Karel Dolejší
After a great drama, the two opposition coalitions have defeated Andrej Babiš in the elections. However, they have managed to do this only because the dissatisfied voters who voted for the anti-system parties - SPD, Přísaha, TSS, Volný blok, KSČ(M), but also for today's xenophobic and anti-immigrant Czech Social Democrats - spread their votes thinly and none of their parties has exceeded the 5% limit barring smaller parties from entry into parliament. Had these extremists also formed a coalition capable of accumulating their 25% (!) votes, the election would have turned out completely differently. Andrej would have been laughing today all the way to the bank.
But the decisive factor is who will laugh last. Babiš is already scheduled to meet President Zeman on Sunday, and it will most likely be Babiš again who will be given the mandate to try the impossible task of forming a new government. What about the fact that he does not have a majority in parliament and no one from the leadership of other parties - including the extreme-right wing SPD - wants to deal with him now? Regardless of the voters' decision, Zeman will continue to do what he had planned before the election. He doesn't care about their result.
Babiš's party ANO, with Babiš in the background - an absurd idea considering what an extreme narcissist Babiš is, but let's continue the thought experiment for a while - according to some, could offer to form a coalition separately with the right wing Civic Democratic Party (ODS), allegedly offering the ODS the post of prime minister. ANO and ODS would be able to put together a parliamentary majority.
The truth is that Babiš can play this so that he has an excuse to stay in the post of Prime Minister for the time being. Presidential-prime ministerial delays can now last as long as eight months, during which time the "existing government" would continue to rule. And this would create a huge space for fishing in muddy waters.
Babiš really does want to get back to power. Opposition deputies will be overwhelmed by a plethora of his offers. Babiš has now agents in the opposition coalitions. Occasionally, over the past few months, some of them have talked about this openly. Especially within the Civic Democratic Party. It will be very difficult to keep the agreement of five different opposition parties against Babiš possibly for many months. It will be very tempting, for many opposition MPs, to succumb to Babiš's offers - for the sake of their personal ambition.
By the way, it is not necessary to be cruel to the Pirates. Undoubtedly, they deserve criticism for many things, but the election result has been, in a way, unfair to them. I would like to remind you that during the campaign, the Pirate Party was regarded as the main opposition party, and thus it was the victim of the concerted barrage of Babiš's rapid-fire propaganda shit-guns while the other opposition parties, ODS, TOP09, KDU-ČSL and STAN were more or less out of range of their palposts.
Personally, I decided not to support the Pirates only when their leader Ivan Bartoš began to talk about his "fears of Islamization in Germany". I simply cannot vote for a party that does not stand up for its agenda and cowardly takes over the xenophobic rhetoric of ANO and the extremists. It was not clear what its programme really was I had no idea what the Pirates would do if they came to power. Since they more or less have lost the election, they will now have a chance properly to define their programme.
However, the time of Babiš's post-election procrastination can be long and ruthless to the current opposition. Waving greenbacks to some sounds like a magical fairy tale from the workshop of German romantics - and Babiš's people have already had the opportunity to prepare their positions. Let us remember the controversial abolition of employer's national insurance payments. Let us recall the ODS's inability to distance itself from debt slavery, which affects some 10 per cent of the Czech citizens. ODS and ANO fully support this parasitical, criminal business. Although the new ODS leader, Petr Fiala, has won the election and it will not be easy to attack him, it is not a given that he will remain the chairman of the party forever.
It still cannot be ruled out that Babiš will come back duly supported by the ODS.