Czech PM Babis takes office but so far lacks parliamentary backing

Czech PM Babis takes office but so far lacks parliamentary backing
# 13 December 2017 17:40 (UTC +04:00)

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, a billionaire businessman who ran on an anti-establishment ticket, took office with his cabinet on Wednesday, but it was unclear whether his tenure will survive a confidence vote next month, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Babis, who built a business empire in food, farming, chemicals and media before entering politics in 2011, will have one month to gain confidence under the constitution for his minority government.

He said after being formally appointed by Czech President Milos Zeman, that the confidence vote should take place on Jan. 10.

Running on pledges to fight immigration and make the state more efficient, Babis’s ANO party won 29.6 percent of the vote in an October national election that saw the rise of other parties preaching against the establishment.

As finance minister over the past three years, Babis saw the central state budget swing to a surplus and has vowed to further cut public debt ratio to GDP, currently at a half of the European Union average.

His problem is that ANO holds just 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house and does not have the firm backing of any of the other eight parties.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED