Sunday, 28 April 2019

Prague Social Democrats for party in coalition government

17 May 2018

Prague, May 16 (CTK) - The majority of the Prague Social Democrat (CSSD) branch supports the party's joining a coalition government along with Prime Minister Andrej Babis's ANO tolerated by the Communists, party leader Jan Hamacek told journalists on Wednesday.

Hamacek said he wanted to disclose the names of five Social Democrat candidates for ministers to President Milos Zeman on Thursday.

He said he would publish them after a meeting of the party leadership on Friday.

The party members are yet to decide on whether the CSSD should form the government in a referendum in June.

"I have the impression from the Prague Social Democrat branch that its majority supports joining the government," Hamacek said.

"I have promised to Zeman that I will consult him at least on the post of foreign minister. Since we are to announce five candidates, it will be suitable that Zeman should hear the names from the leader of the party that will propose them, not from the media," Hamacek said.

The Social Democrats may nominate for the post of foreign minister MEP Miroslav Poche. According to insiders, Zeman disagrees with the proposal.

Some 19,000 members of the CSSD) will decide in a secret ballot on its participation in the government, at meetings of almost 1100 local CSSD branches and the leadership will announce the referendum results on June 15.

All Social Democrats who were the party members at least 30 days before the referendum have the right to vote in it. More than one-quarter of all members must take part in it for the results to be valid. The decision will be accepted if at least an absolute majority of the voting members support it.

The party is divided over the issue. A faction is opposed to Babis heading the government since he is criminally prosecuted and to the backing to be expressed by the Communists.

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