Czech PM: regional governors must request new state of emergency

According to Andrej Babiš, the Czech government cannot bypass the Chamber of Deputies and declare a new state of emergency on its own.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 13.02.2021 09:47 (updated on 13.02.2021)

The Czech government alone cannot circumvent the Chamber of Deputies and declare another state of emergency, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told journalists after meeting President Miloš Zeman on Friday.

There is only one solution: regional governors must ask the government to declare a new state of emergency after the current on expires this weekend, Babiš said.

A decision must be made on Sunday morning at the latest, Babiš said.

On Thursday, the Czech Chamber of Deputies refused to prolong the current state of emergency, which will finish on Sunday.

"Under the crisis management law, there is the only solution. If there is a threat within a state of danger, a regional governor can ask the government to declare a state of emergency," Babiš said.

"This is the only legislative solution that is available, the only chance to continue with the state of emergency," he added.

Babiš said five or six regional governors were in favor of declaring a new state of emergency.

In exceptional situations, regional governors themselves can declare a "state of danger." Some of them do not think this is a sufficient tool to combat the infection, however, Babiš added.

"Our lawyers, the Government Legislative Council, and a number of offices were analyzing this all day long. We are convinced that if regional governors ask for [another state of emergency], this will be the only solution according to the rules and our law," Babiš said.

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The government might also declare some milder measures under the public health protection law.

Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats, CSSD) said on Friday that the government would probably declare a new state of emergency if regional governors request it.

Babiš said Friday's conference with the governors was productive. He added that talks with opposition parties before the vote on the prolonging the state of emergency in the Chamber of Deputies were not as beneficial.