Coalition Government Survives Third Vote of No-Confidence
The debate before the vote in the Chamber of Deputies took more than 31 hours, lasting two days. Credit: Poslanecká sněmovna.
Prague, Oct 19 (CTK) – The coalition government of Petr Fiala (ODS) last night survived the third opposition attempt to bring a motion of no confidence at a Chamber of Deputies session, initiated by the senior opposition ANO movement. The result was expected, given the ruling coalition’s majority in the lower house.
MPs from all five government parties (ODS, TOP 09, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), Mayors and Independents (STAN) and Pirates) voted against the motion. Only MPs from the opposition ANO and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) supported the motion. The cabinet will thus continue to govern with the confidence of the lower house.
The debate before the vote in the Chamber of Deputies took more than 31 hours, lasting two days.
“I am glad that we could use these two days to present what we have managed to do and with what we are entering the second half of the term,” wrote PM Fiala on Twitter after the vote, adding that the lower house had confirmed the will of the electorate and affirmed the confidence of MPs in the government.
For the cabinet to fall, at least 101 MPs, a majority of all lawmakers in the 200-seat lower house, would have to support a no-confidence vote.
While 85 MPs from the opposition ANO and SPD parties supported the no-confidence motion, 96 coalition MPs opposed it, and the remaining 19 MPs were absent.
ANO deputy group chairwoman Alena Schillerova said after the vote that the Czech Republic had lost.
“We will not give up. We will continue to fight hard for the interests of the citizens of the Czech Republic and demand a better life for all of you from this anti-social government,” ANO leader and former PM Andrej Babis wrote later on Twitter.
Radim Fiala, head of the SPD deputy group, said the government did not have the trust of the citizens, despite the vote.
The no-confidence vote in the cabinet was initiated by ANO MPs because of STAN leader and Interior Minister Vit Rakusan. They said that Rakusan had a mobile phone with the same encryption application used by people linked to the Dosimeter corruption case in the Prague Transport Company (DPP).
Fiala defended Rakusan several times, insisting that the minister had his trust. Rakusan said that he had acquired the phone after the previous parliamentary elections because of concerns about wiretapping, but did not use it in practice and his conscience was clear.
Some coalition politicians have linked ANO shadow interior minister Jana Mrackova Vildumetzova to the Dosimeter case, as she borrowed a car during her campaign for the 2021 elections from Zakaria Nemrah, a businessman prosecuted in the case. Mrackova Vildumetzova objected to this allegation.
The previous unsuccessful vote of no-confidence in the government was held in January 2023, and the first one in September 2022.
In the history of the independent Czech Republic, 19 no-confidence motions in the government have been held, but only one succeeded, when the lower house topped the cabinet of ODS prime minister Mirek Topolanek in 2009.