PRAGUE (Reuters) – The Czech parliament is expected to back the new, center-left minority cabinet led by billionaire Andrej Babis on Wednesday, ending his nine-month struggle to secure a parliamentary majority.
Most parties rejected working with Babis because he faces fraud charges related to a 2 million euro EU subsidy a decade ago. He denies any wrongdoing but the case prevented him from forming the center-right coalition he said he would have preferred after his ANO party won an election last October.
Babis - Social - Democrats - ANO - Movement
Eventually, Babis convinced the center-left Social Democrats to join the ANO movement, which he founded, in a minority administration, which has 93 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament.
To secure a majority, he struck a deal with the pro-Russian and anti-NATO Communists, who have 15 deputies in the lower house, to support the cabinet. This gives the once-outcast party a political say for the first time since the fall of Communism.
Confidence - Vote - Mandatory - Cabinet - Wednesday
The confidence vote, mandatory for any new cabinet, is expected sometime later on Wednesday.
The Communist Party leadership agreed to the deal even though Babis, who has served as a caretaker prime minister since a first attempt to win confidence for a...
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