It has been over 180 days since the parliamentary election, yet the Czech Republic still has no government capable of winning a vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies. We are fully aware how painful it must be for our stakeholders to see the political agenda pinging back and forth, and sometimes even drawing circles, as may have seemed the case over the past few weeks.
Following the collapse of negotiations between the ANO movement and the Social Democrats, and in the wake of a sit-down meeting between PM Andrej Babiš and the president, negotiations have started once again. Mr Babiš seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place as his options are limited. On the one hand, there is the prospect of a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party, but this would rely on support from the Communist Party, for the first time in the 29 years since the Velvet Revolution. His other choice is to cooperate with the anti-immigrant, anti-EU far-right extremist party led by Tokyo-born Tomio Okamura.
What is more, Mr Babiš must also extinguish some internal fires. The latest include the involvement of his right-hand man, Mr Faltýnek, in a potential scandal regarding deals in the transport sector, and the fall from grace of the infamous Mayor of Prague, Mrs Adriana Krnáčová.
This last incident has been particularly spectacular, because a few weeks ago Mrs Krnáčová announced her resignation, but her reign will continue until the upcoming municipal elections in autumn 2018. Over the past few days there has been a flurry of issues with transportation in the Czech capital, which is being knocked by one scandal after another. The overall situation is best described by a quote from the soon-to-be former queen of Prague: “The assumption that the mayor can make certain arrangements is misplaced.” Krnáčová out.
>> Read full version of Grayling Political Digest April 2018.