Constitutional Court rejects proposal to annul ‘Lex Babiš’ conflict of interest law

18-02-2020

The Constitutional Court has rejected proposals put forward by President Miloš Zeman and others to annul part of a conflict of interest law popularly known as “Lex Babiš”.

The 2017 legislation was so nicknamed as it seemed to specifically target Andrej Babiš, the then finance minister and current prime minister, who controlled a number of major Czech media. He has since placed those and other assets in two trusts.

Despite a presidential veto, the bill was pushed through Parliament, leading Zeman to file a petition arguing that it was unconstitutional because it violates a prohibition on discrimination on the basis of property. Members of Babiš

“Lex Babiš” prohibits members of the government from owning and operating radio and television stations and publishing periodicals. At the same time, it prevents companies in which cabinet members have at least a 25 percent share from bidding for public contracts.

Zeman said on Tuesday through his spokesman that he respects the Constitutional Court decision.