Tomáš Petříček was fired from the position of the Minister of the Foreign Affairs after 2,5 years of work. The Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček, will take the position temporarily.

President Miloš Zeman frequently criticized Petříček for his negative views of Russian and Chinese vaccines.

Petříček was informed about the decision last Sunday. Last week Petříček lost to Hamáček in the elections for the chairman of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD). The changes in the cabinet are also a sign of the upcoming elections in October this year.

“I am leaving with my head held high, I am not ashamed of my actions in the last two and a half years. I have always promoted the pro-European, pro-Western orientation of the Czech Republic and the continuity of our foreign policy,” Petříček stated.

Hamáček already recommended Lubomír Zaorálek to take the position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. For now, Zaorálek hasn’t accepted the offer because he is not sure whether he wants to leave his current position as the Minister of Culture. Zaorálek has already recommended himself as a politician who promotes a good relationship with China. According to Reuters, some of his initiatives were considered even “too open” towards China.

Last week, the government replaced the Minister of Health. Jan Blatný left the cabinet, and Petr Arenberger became the fourth Minister of Health since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last March.

Featured image via vlada.cz

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