Prime Minister Andrej Babis' government has survived a no-confidence vote after facing massive protests over graft and conflict of interest accusations. The parliamentary debate for the vote lasted 17 hours.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis' minority government survived a no-confidence vote early Thursday.
The billionaire-turned-politician faces investigations into fraud accusations) (subsidies, conflict of interest and the abuse of those EU funds by his business empire.
After a marathon 17-hour debate, the opposition failed to muster 101 votes in the 200-seat parliament needed to topple the government. The final vote was 85 against and 85 for, with 30 abstentions or votes not cast.
Babis' ANO party is in a coalition with the center-left Social Democrats, but relies on further support from the Communists — not a formal ally of Babis' — to reach a majority of 108 seats in the parliament.
The no confidence vote was prompted by a preliminary report by European Commission auditors that found Babis still has influence over Agrofert, a sprawling agriculture, food and media empire.
He put the business into trust in 2017 after he became prime minister, but after he had already served as deputy prime minister and finance minister since 2014.
The final audit expected later this year could result in Agrofert having to repay up to €17.4 million ($19.7 million) in EU subsidies.
Babis denies any wrongdoing. ANO remains the country's most popular party with around 30% support, despite protests last weekend calling for his resignation that drew nearly a quarter of a million people in the capital, Prague.
cw/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)