Czech Cabinet survives no-confidence vote over PM’s scandal

International

Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Andrej Babis addresses lawmakers during a parliament session in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The Czech coalition government led by populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis is facing a parliamentary no-confidence vote over European Union subsidies paid to his former business empire. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech coalition government led by populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis has survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament over European Union subsidies that were paid to his former business empire.

The opposition requested the vote after a preliminary EU report concluded the subsidies amounted to a conflict of interest because he still formally controls the businesses.

Only 85 of the opposition lawmakers voted early morning Thursday at the end of an almost 19-hour debate to oust the Cabinet, well short of the 101 needed in the 200-seat lower house.

Babis’ centrist ANO (YES) movement is in a minority government with the leftist Social Democrats with support from the Communist Party.

The opposition was boosted by recent massive street protests demanding the resignation of Babis.

Babis denies wrongdoing.

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