Czech government survives no-confidence vote in Parliament sought by populist former Prime Minister

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. File

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. File
| Photo Credit: AFP

The Czech coalition government survived a Parliamentary no-confidence vote on October 19 over Opposition claims that it is mishandling the economy and immigration.

Only 85 Opposition lawmakers in the 200-seat Lower House of Parliament voted to dismiss the five-party government led by conservative Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The vote was held early Thursday after a debate that started on Tuesday.

The main Opposition centrist ANO party led by populist billionaire Andrej Babis accused the government of failing to deal with high inflation driven by energy prices and a new wave of immigration, among other issues. Inflation has been declining this year, falling from 17.5% in January to 6.9% in September. The government has rejected the allegations.

Mr. Babis, the former Prime Minister, also accused the government of caring more about Ukraine than the Czech Republic. The country has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine in its fight against Russian military aggression and has accepted more than 3,50,000 people who fled the war.

In early October, the government temporarily reintroduced checks along the border with Slovakia in an effort to stem a flow of migrants.

Mr. Babis has also criticised a government package designed to keep the ballooning budget deficit under control. According to the plan, which still needs approval from the Senate and President Petr Pavel, Czech citizens would pay more for beer and medicine and businesses would face higher corporate taxes.

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