Thursday, 24 April 2014

Klaus to appoint 3 new ministers today

12 December 2012

Prague, Dec 11 (CTK) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus will appoint Deputy PM Karolina Peake (LIDEM) defence minister, MP Zbynek Stanjura (Civic Democrats, ODS) transport minister and unaffiliated expert Petr Mlsna minister without portfolio on Wednesday morning, the Presidential Office announced yesterday.

The three have been proposed to the posts by Prime Minister Petr Necas (ODS).

Defending Peake's nomination for defence minister, Necas pointed to other women holding the same post in other NATO countries.

"I recommend that all critics read the CVs of the other three female defence ministers from European NATO states," Necas said, mentioning Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the 39-year-old Dutch defence minister.

Lithuania and Norway, too, have female defence ministers.

Necas said he does not doubt that Peake will cope with the ministerial post well. The ministry's important plans have been outlined by her predecessor Alexandr Vondra (ODS), Necas said.

Last week, Klaus voiced doubts about whether the soldiers will accept the "girl" Peake as a minister. Peake will not become an expert in defence overnight, Klaus remarked critically.

Necas said he agrees with Klaus that no one can become an expert overnight. Nevertheless, Peake, in her capacity as deputy prime minister, has been a member of the State Security Council and its Committee for intelligence. As a result, since April 2011 she has been acquainted with all important documents related to the state defence, Necas pointed out.

Necas said Stanjura, now the ODS deputies' group chairman, is a very competent politician, one of the ODS's top ones.

He recalled Stanjura's "strong managerial skills" and his performance as mayor and deputy mayor of Ostrava, north Moravia.

"His aim will be to prepare the transformation of the Transport Ministry with the Industry and Trade Ministry that are to form a single Economy Ministry. This step is planned to take the next 18 months," Necas said.

Stanjura is supposed to transform the Transport Ministry to make it compatible with the Industry and Trade Ministry so that it can be added as "a module" to the latter's structure, Necas said.

Mlsna, Peake's present deputy who is to be new minister without portfolio and head of the Government Legislative Council, is an experienced legislative expert, Necas said.

Necas did not rule out that further mergers of ministries may follow. He recalled that the ODS proposed that up to four ministries be cancelled.

He said the possible mergers would be discussed by the government coalition, comprising the ODS, LIDEM and TOP 09, and included in a new coalition agreement that is to be signed in January.

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