Czechia on course for five-party coalitionReading Time: < 1 minutes
Czechia looks set to be ruled by a liberal, centre-right coalition after five parties agreed on a joint programme on Tuesday, around one month after outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s narrow election defeat.
Prospective prime minister Petr Fiala, who leads the liberal-conservative, eurosceptic Civic Democratic Party (ODS), said Tuesday evening: “we have agreed on a coalition agreement and what our coalition programme will look like. We want to sign the coalition agreement on November 8 (and) have agreed on the structure of the government,” Fiala added, after lengthy talks between party alliances Spolu (ODS, the Christian Democrats and TOP 09) and PaS (Pirates, and Mayors and Independents). The five parties won 108 of the 200 seats on 9 October, toppling Babis, who had led the Czech government since 2017.
In the face of rising inflation and debt, surging energy prices and a fourth COVID wave, the incoming government will amend the annual budget and reform public finances. Czechia’s likely next finance minister Zbynek Stanjura noted that this will preclude entering the Eurozone in the near future. “We should adopt the euro only when it’s favourable for the Czech Republic,” he told Reuters.
Czechia has suffered a month in political limbo after Czech President Milos Zeman was hospitalised on 10 October, the morning after the election result. Zeman – who, as head of state, officially appoints new governments – will meet Fiala as soon as he leaves intensive care, his chief of staff told local media.