Czech crisis goes on as premier rejects minister replacement

May 15, 2017
Czech President Milos Zeman delivers a speech on Plenary Session of High-Level Dialogue, at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Sunday, May 14, 2017. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo via AP)

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka rejected a proposal for a new finance minister on Monday, prolonging a political crisis centering on the Republic’s finance minister.

Sobotka had asked President Milos Zeman to fire Finance Minister Andrej Babis, one of the country’s richest people, over unexplained business dealings. Babis has denied wrongdoing and says he won’t resign.

Zeman has refused to fire his ally.

In an effort to resolve the crisis, Babis last week proposed his deputy, Alena Schillerova, as a replacement.

Sobotka said Monday that Schillerova is too close to Babis.

Babis said he didn’t understand Sobotka’s decision, but said he planned to propose another candidate for finance minister by Wednesday.

“We want to solve the crisis very soon,” Babis said.

ANO is favored to win October’s parliamentary election well ahead of Sobotka’s leftist Social Democrats.

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