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Sklenář assigned to head president’s protocol section

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Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) – Miroslav Sklenar was assigned on Thursday to head the Czech Presidential Office’s Protocol Department whose head Jindrich Forejt resigned on Tuesday, Presidential Office spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has told CTK.

Sklenar headed the protocol department under president Vaclav Havel (1989-2003) and he left during the presidency of Vaclav Klaus (2003-2013).

He, however, returned to the office in 2014. Some media reported he was to replace Forejt with whom he had many disputes about the protocol. However, President Milos Zeman always stood up for Forejt.

Sklenar left the protocol department for a branch of the China Energy Company Limited (CEFC) in 2015.

This Chinese firm is close to the Presidential Office. Its board chairman Ye Jianmin became Zeman’s adviser in 2015.

Speculations about Sklenar’s return to the Presidential Office’s protocol emerged this week.

Sklenar asked to leave the post of the foreign affairs and protocol section director of the CEFC Group (Europe) Company and the firm accepted his notice in the past days.

Sklenar said he wanted to stabilise the department and was not preparing any personnel changes in it.

He said he presumed he would stay in the office for months, not years.

“The president needs a 100-percent and perfect work to which he was used. My only task is to make the work at least the same and ideally even better,” Sklenar said.

The protocol will work like before, he added.

“The protocol department is in a good state. There are people I know for over 20 years, others I know for less than five years, but as a whole, the department works well,” Sklenar said.

Forejt, 39, resigned on Tuesday for personal and health reasons. He is supposed to leave the post of the protocol head by the end of the year.

Forejt was one of Zeman’s close collaborators. He came under criticism of late because of several mistakes he did in his post.

Some media wrote that Forejt allegedly appeared in a compromising video. It has not been possible to verify the authenticity of the material.

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