Babiš law upheld
The Czech Constitutional Court has dismissed appeals against a law introduced three years ago prohibiting members of the government from holding media and bidding for public contracts. To comply with the law Prime Minister Andrej Babiš had to put his companies into trusts. Now he has stated that he wlll withdraw from politics if his Ano movement loses the 2021 parliamentary elections.
Justice sets limits for governmental power
Hospodské noviny welcomes the ruling, saying it shows Babiš that he can't do whatever he pleases:
“It is simply not acceptable for a politician to grant subsidies that he himself makes use of as a businessman. The only people convinced by the prime minister's statement that he has a conflict of interest but does not abuse it are his supporters. ... Now Babiš will start singing his old song about everyone being against him. And voters will heed the prime minister's cry - as they've always done. Andrej Babiš' political career is not jeopardised by the court's unambiguous ruling. Although he was democratically elected and can still govern our country for years to come, he has been told that he can't do as he pleases and he can't have it all.”
PM as popular as ever
The opposition is rejoicing too soon, writes Mlada fronta dnes, which belongs to a Babiš-owned trust fund:
“Things aren't as bad as they may seem. According to a recent forecast put out by the agency Stem, Ano would currently secure 32.7 percent of the vote, leaving the Pirates trailing behind with just 13.6 percent and the conservative ODS with 9.8 percent. ... If Babiš wanted to campaign seriously he could turn the elections into a referendum on his remaining in politics. If the opposition falls for his tricks, based on the experience it's gleaned so far Ano can only improve its score.”