The Czech Republic’s populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis said this Friday that he would hand over power to the next government and “to the opposition” after losing the election last weekend.
“We will hand over (government affairs) to the new coalition and to the opposition,” said the founder of the populist party ANO in an interview with the radio station Frekvence 1 late on Friday.
The ANO leader had recognized the victory of the coalition of opposition parties, but did not say that he would directly give him the opportunity to form the government.
Babis has emphasized that the Czech Republic needs a government that “works” and has signaled that it does not want to block the “situation”. In this way, he has insisted that his training as an opposition will be “tough but correct”.
Babis was initially unwilling to leave the political arena after ANO unexpectedly narrowly lost to two opposition alliances that won a clear majority of 108 of the 200 seats in the House of Representatives elections.
Czech President Milos Zeman has to appoint the next government, but political tensions are mounting with no progress as the 77-year-old president is currently in hospital with little information on his health.
Previously, Zeman had indicated that he would first support the leader of the strongest party, not the strongest coalition with which Babis would take over the formation of the government, since his party alone has the strongest presence in the House of Representatives.
The newly elected House of Representatives will meet for the first time on November 8th.
The elections were marked by the appearance of Prime Minister Andrej Babis in the Pandora Papers, a journalistic investigation that again casts financial doubts on the Czech head of state.