When they broke up in July, we revelled in a short I-told-you-so moment. But gloating aside, Grayling is looking forward to fair competition among democratic parties. So, on the bright side, at least one of those parties is now almost sure to be in Parliament and, since there is no 10% threshold anymore, the danger of too many votes being wasted will be avoided. The Christian Democrats have managed to fill the vacant spots on their lists and the Mayors have brought in fresh and familiar faces to politics, including the billionaire Dalibor Dědek, who made his fortune as the owner of Jablotron. Dědek immediately became the most famous face on the candidate list and opined that a coalition with Andrej Babiš was not inconceivable. Which brings us to the second important issue of the summer.
The general public is once again learning about Article 260 of the Criminal Code. A simple five-point paragraph, describing what is known as “Harming the financial interests of the European Union”. This time, it’s not David Rath, Central Bohemia’s former regional governor, but Andrej Babiš himself who may be facing fraud charges. The police have reached a point in the investigation where they have decided to ask the Chamber of Deputies to remove Babiš’s parliamentary immunity so he can be prosecuted.
More important will be the impact of this event on Babiš’s ability to form a coalition. There are certain things that even smaller parties offering coalition potential won’t tolerate. A prime minister charged with a serious offence is probably one of them. It has already been rumoured that Babiš could stay out of an executive position in order for the ANO Movement to be able to form a government. But if there’s one thing this country doesn’t need, it’s a government run from some summer retreat, or, even worse, Agrofert headquarters, while a puppet leader is installed at the Office of the Government.
Let’s hope we all survive the remaining 64 days that separate us from the election weekend.