Prague, April 28 (CTK) – The Czech Chamber of Deputies agreed on the prolongation of the state of emergency over the coronavirus outbreak until May 17, as proposed by the Communists (KSČM), at its session today.
The Communists keep the minority government of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO and the Social Democrats (ČSSD) afloat.
The government wanted the state of emergency to last until May 25, in connection with the government plan of a gradual relaxation of lockdown rules.
In its motion, the government warned that if the limitations were ended at once, “there would be a serious risk of the epidemiological situation worsening.”
Some MPs argued that if needed, the lower house may meet and extend the state of emergency again.
The right-wing opposition preferred the end of the state of emergency in early May. Its representatives accused the government of arbitrary and chaotic steps.
The state of emergency has been in effect since March 12. The government itself can only declare it for 30 days.
The Communist proposal was supported by 54 out of the 101 deputies present, with 24 votes against it.
The government sent the motion to the Chamber of Deputies after the Prague Municipal Court last week abolished the main limitations imposed by the Health Ministry especially in trade and services under the public health law.
The court ruled that the measures ought to have been taken by the government under the emergency law as it did at the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic.
The government did so again soon after the verdict was delivered.
Only roughly half of the Chamber of Deputies members met because of the restrictive rules. Its rooms are still closed to the public.