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    Demonstrators attend a protest rally against Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babis and President Milos Zeman in Prague, Czech Republic, May 17, 2017

    Czech Crisis: Are Prague's Protests a Threat to Elections or a Prelude?

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    It is still unclear which factors led to the current political crisis in the Czech Republic which is yet to be resolved, Prague-based political analyst Oskar Krejci told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik Czech Republic, Prague-based political analyst Oskar Krejci focused on the current political crisis in the country which he said gas yet to be tackled.

    The interview came amid reports that embattled Czech Finance Minister and oligarch Andrej Babis is due to resign and that the Czech government allegedly picked Babis's successor.

    Earlier this month, local media reported that Czech President Milos Zeman and the ruling coalition failed to reach common ground on the fate of Finance Minister Babis suspected of graft-related crimes.

    A rift between Zeman and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka deepened after the coalition government asked the president to remove Babis, a billionaire businessman suspected of tax dodging.

    Zeman refused, saying that it was out of line with the deal that created the coalition.

    He then held talks with the leaders of the three parties that make up the coalition in the city of Liberec, in an attempt to end the political standoff. The leaders said they wanted to stay in power until the October election.

    A spate of rallies was held in central Prague to protest against the president's decision not to dismiss Babis. Similar rallies were held in five other Czech cities, with protesters shouting slogans reminiscent of the 1989 anti-Communist demonstrations.

    Commenting on the Czech political standoff, Oskar Krejci said that "we still don't know what caused this crisis" and that one is yet to see whether this crisis will come to a close.

    He recalled previous steps by Czech Prime Minister Sobotka who at first decided to step down but then refused to do so, something that came amid President Zeman's announcement that he is not going to recall Finance Minister Babis.

    "Sobotka could not but understand the fact that this complicated situation disrupted the coalition's agreement on the basis of which the government was formed. In this vein, the question arises what was on Sobotka's mind and whether he succeeded. If we find out it, we will understand whether the Czech crisis has ended or not," Krejci said.

    Touching upon Sobotka finally signaling his unwillingness to work with Babis, Krejci described it as a "pre-election step by the Social-Democratic Prime Minister, who, as all the leftists usually do, gains points speaking out against the oligarchs."

    When asked about who could organize large-scale protests against President Zeman, Krejci called it a "mystery covered in darkness."

    "Obviously, the protests were coordinated through social networks that were used to help oust the Czech President who was elected by people's will," he said, adding that "in the West it becomes a tradition to use social networking websites in order to stage protests against the main principle of democracy — the results of fair elections."

    He warned against jumping to conclusions on who benefited from government crisis in the Czech Republic, saying that one should wait for the results of sociological surveys.

    At the same time, he suggested that Prime Minister Sobotka pursued a "much more serious goal, namely, to force the Social Democrats not to support Zeman's candidacy during the 2018  the presidential elections" in the Czech Republic.

    According to Krejci, Sobotka is going to back Vladimir Spidla, former Czech Prime Minister and former leader of the CSSD Party.

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