Czech coalition pact may be finished next week

Zleva předseda hnutí ANO Andrej Babiš, předseda ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka a předseda KDU-ČSL Pavel Bělobrádek vystoupili 2. prosince v Poslanecké sněmovně na tiskové konferenci po společném vyjednávání o koaliční smlouvě.

published: 03.12.2013, 17:03 | updated: 03.12.2013 17:10:07

Prague - The Czech Social Democrats (CSSD), the centrist ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) may agree on their coalition pact in the middle of next week, CSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka told CTK today.

After the coalition agreement is approved, the government may be named at the turn of the year, by mid-January at the latest, Sobotka said.

The Saturday meeting of the three parties' negotiating teams will be crucial, he added.

"I will asked the partners to have time for the whole Saturday. We will start at 9:00 a.m., the duration of the talks is not limited and we want to discuss all the outputs of all teams to move forward in the discussion on the programme," said Sobotka, adding that he hoped the partners would be sufficiently patient.

Sobotka said he also expected the Saturday meeting to bring a final agreement on the procedural parts of the coalition pact for which the Social Democrats had received some modifications from ANO.

The Christian Democrats will deliver them too. They want a guarantee against their being outvoted to be added in the agreement.

"If such a guarantee contributes to a bigger coalition consensus, it may be in the draft coalition pact," said Sobotka, adding that he demanded some space for the parties' independent decision-making.

Sobotka said the agreement on the programme part of the coalition pact, basically structured as outputs from eight expert teams, might be concluded soon after the weekend.

After Saturday, the CSSD will send its final draft to its partners, Sobotka said.

"If there are no major objections to the text, the coalition leadership will meet and it may confirm it as the draft coalition agreement," Sobotka said, adding that the meeting might take place in the middle of next week.

Then the coalition agreement must be confirmed by the broad representation of individual parties, he added.

In the case of the Social Democrats, they may stage a referendum, to be held on January 11-12 at the latest, Sobotka said.

"Then the government could be immediately named," Sobotka said.


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