PRAGUE – The President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, ordered Prime Minister Andrej Babis on Wednesday to form a government again, just after he resigned from his post for not receiving enough parliamentary support to be inaugurated.
After winning the elections in October, the conservative and populist premier, who is accused of fraud, leads a minority government formed by his ANO party and independent lawmakers.
His resignation on Wednesday came after all other parties and groups in parliament voted against his investiture last week as they refused to prop up a government led by someone who is being investigated for fraudulent use of European Union funds worth up to 1.7 million euros ($2.1 million).
Babis, the second-richest man in the Czech Republic, had his parliamentary immunity lifted two days later, meaning police can now investigate him.
Zeman, who is Babis’ main political ally, is determined to support a second attempt by the PM to form a government.
The second and final round of the presidential elections are due to be held on Thursday and Friday and Zeman remains favorite to win, though even if he did not, he would still have enough time to name Babis PM in February before his own mandate ends in March.