Wednesday, 21 November 2018

ČSSD has no reason to replace Poche with another candidate now

ČTK |
27 June 2018

Prague, June 26 (CTK) - The Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) can see no reason for replacing their candidate for foreign minister, Miroslav Poche, with another candidate even though President Milos Zeman refuses to appoint Poche as minister, CSSD leader Jan Hamacek said on Tuesday.

"At this stage, I can see no reason for us to change our candidate for foreign minister," Hamacek said.

The CSSD leadership has not discussed any other candidate on Tuesday.

Hamacek said he would wait until Wednesday when President Milos Zeman is to appoint the next government of the ANO movement and the CSSD.

Hamacek did not say whether the CSSD would push for the filing of a competence complaint against Zeman if he did not appoint Poche. He said he would like to negotiate about the issue.

He said it is of primary importance now that the Czech Republic has a stable government.

Petr Fiala, leader of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), said Babis should insist on Poche's appointment and Zeman should accept this because there was no constitutional alternative to this.

"If the president is to decide on government members instead of governing parties, we will not need any parliamentary elections, the presidential ones would be enough," Fiala said.

Zbynek Stanjura, chairman of the ODS deputy group, said Babis was not a strong prime minister because he had only technically fulfilled the Social Democrat demand.

He does not care whether the Czech Republic would have a full-fledged foreign minister, although his absence will threaten national interests in international talks, Stanjura said.

Hamacek said ANO leader Andrej Babis, who heads the outgoing government and will be the prime minister of the new one, has met all the conditions that the Social Democrats set for their participation in the government. As a result, all 15 CSSD lower house deputies will sign the CSSD-ANO coalition agreement.

CSSD lower house deputy group head Jan Chvojka told public Czech Television (CT) tonight that 14 CSSD MPs had already signed the coalition agreement, while the last, Tomas Hanzel, would add his signature after his return from abroad.

Chvojka also dismissed the speculation that some CSSD deputies might not sign the coalition agreement.

Babis formed a minority cabinet of his ANO movement which was appointed last December, but this cabinet failed to win support from the lower house of parliament in January and had to resign. Babis negotiated about his possible new government for several months. Finally, ANO and the CSSD agreed to form a minority government that would be backed by the Communists (KSCM).

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