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Czech government survives no-confidence vote

In this file photo taken on Jan 12, 2022, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala delivers a speech in the Czech Parliament in Prague. (MICHAL CIZEK / AFP)

PRAGUE – The Czech government survived an opposition attempt to overthrow it in a no-confidence vote, a widely expected outcome of the motion which the cabinet had called a publicity stunt related to the country's presidential election.

The house voted 102-81 against the no-confidence motion late in the evening on Wednesday after more than 25 hours of debate over two days.

ANO justified the no-confidence vote due to the government's refusal to discuss issues such as a shortage of some medicines, financing social aid or plans to change the value-added tax in parliament

The center-right, five-party coalition has 108 seats in the 200-seat lower house and has shown no cracks to make it vulnerable.

The main opposition ANO movement of ex-prime minister Andrej Babis had called the vote to take place just days after Babis and retired general Petr Pavel won the top two spots in the first round of a presidential election, lining up a run-off between the two on Jan 27-28.

READ MORE: Pavel, Babis head to 2nd round in Czech presidential race

Babis has framed the presidential election as an attempt to install a president that would pressure the center-right cabinet to provide more handouts to people suffering from soaring living costs.

ANO justified the no-confidence vote due to the government's refusal to discuss issues such as a shortage of some medicines, financing social aid or plans to change the value-added tax in parliament.