Czech opposition parties to challenge PM Babis in no-confidence vote

FILE PHOTO: Extraordinary European Union leaders summit in Brussels

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Opposition parties said they will call a vote of no-confidence in Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis's government over alleged conflicts of interest, although they lack enough votes to win.

The five parties will submit their request on Friday for a special session of parliament, party leaders said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"This government, with this prime minister, has been tarnishing Czech Republic's reputation both home and abroad, therefore we deem this step a moral and political gesture," said Marek Vyborny, chairman of the Christian Democrats.

Babis has denied any wrongdoing, calling the allegations a political maneuver.

The European Commission has determined that Babis is in conflict of interest because of his business empire placed in trust funds, and the country may lose some EU funding as a result.

The billionaire-turned-politician is also facing strong protests over possible meddling with a criminal case in which the police recommended he face trial over a 2 million euro EU subsidy for a farm and convention center.

With the support of the Communist party, Babis's minority government controls 108 votes in the 200-member lower house of parliament. To pass a no-confidence motion, the opposition needs 101 votes.

The lower house speaker can summon a no-confidence vote once he receives an official request. No date has yet been proposed.


(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Catherine Evans and Alison Williams)