Sunday, 23 September 2018

Poche, rejected by Zeman, to be secretary at foreign ministry

ČTK |
28 June 2018

Prague, June 27 (CTK) - MEP Miroslav Poche, whom President Milos Zeman refused to name as the foreign minister, although the Social Democrats (CSSD) proposed him for the post, will be the political secretary at the Foreign Ministry, Poche told the server IHNED.cz on Wednesday.

He said he would only hold the post for a symbolic reward and would keep the post of a member of the European Parliament.

Zeman entrusted Social Democrat leader Jan Hamacek with heading the Foreign Ministry, while he will also be the interior minister.

"I am entering the ministry as an unpaid political secretary," Poche told the server.

"Of course I will not control anything. My work will primarily lie in the coordination and fulfilment of some tasks," he added.

"I will have a contract for a symbolic reward, thanks to which I will be able to keep working as an MEP," Poche said.

He said he would like to focus on the preparation of the forthcoming NATO summit and the development of relations with Germany.

On Thursday, Poche will take part in the official installation of Hamacek as the foreign minister.

Zeman raised objections to the nomination of Poche for foreign minister citing Poche's support for the acceptance of migrants by Prague among the reasons.

Some critics say Zeman rejects Poche because he supported his rival in the presidential election, Jiri Drahos.

The Social Democrats insisted on Poche's nomination

Poche said if he were not appointed the foreign minister, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) would have to file a competence lawsuit against Zeman. The view is shared by some Social Democrats who say under the constitution, the president should name the government members at the proposal of the prime minister.

However, Babis said on Tuesday, he could see no reason to file the constitutional complaint.

Hamacek, too, said he would prefer a negotiated solution to the dispute over Poche.

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