Czech crisis ends with finance minister replacement
PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech Republic’s president has fired Finance Minister Andrej Babis and appointed his replacement, a move that ends the country’s political crisis.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka requested that President Milos Zeman fire Babis, one of the richest men in the country, over unexplained business dealings.
Babis denied wrongdoing and initially said he wouldn’t resign. Zeman initially refused to fire him, saying he considered Babis a successful minister.
But in an effort to solve the crisis, Babis backtracked and himself proposed Ivan Pilny, the former head of Microsoft’s operations in the Czech Republic, as a replacement. Zeman appointed him Wednesday.
Pilny is a member of Babis’ ANO centrist movement that is favored to win an October parliamentary election well ahead of Sobotka’s leftist Social Democrats.