Sunday, 18 November 2018

LN: Augustin may be new head of Government Office

7 December 2017

Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) - The new prime minister Andrej Babis, leader of the ANO movement, wants Radek Augustin, 40, to head the Czech Government Office, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote yesterday, referring to trustworthy sources.

Augustin is a close collaborator of President Milos Zeman and a founding member of the Party of Citizens' Rights of Milos Zeman (SPOZ, now SPO). Since February 2014, Augustin has headed the department of analyses of the Presidential Office, LN writes.

Although neither Babis, nor Augustin, wanted to comment on this information, two relevant independent sources have confirmed it, LN writes.

"They must have met several times already. The only question is that Augustin is loyal to the president, who must say yes to this," LN quotes its source who wished to remain anonymous.

Augustin was a member of the Social Democrats (CSSD) for twelve years. He left the party and joined the SPOZ in 2010. At the SPOZ's congress in March 2010, he was elected its deputy chairman. Two years later, he was at the top the SPOZ's list of candidates for the Zlin Region, south Moravia, but the party failed in the election.

Following the inauguration of Zeman as the president in March 2013, a caretaker government headed by Jiri Rusnok was set up and Augustin became the head of its office in the summer of 2013. He had to leave the post six months later, after new prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) brought his own team along to the Government Office, LN writes.

According to sources acquainted with the Presidential Office's behind-the-scenes, however, Augustin was put aside in the office under its head Vratislav Mynar, although he was originally supposed to become its head himself, LN cites its source.

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