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Czech president meets next human rights minister Chvojka

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Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – Czech lawmaker Jan Chvojka, who will replace Jiri Dienstbier (both Social Democrats, CSSD) in the post of minister for human rights, minorities and legislation affairs on November 30, had talks with President Milos Zeman yesterday.
Earlier yesterday, Zeman met Prague-Motol University Hospital Director Miloslav Ludvik who will replace Health Minister Svatopluk Nemecek (both CSSD) on the same day.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) announced these two changes in the lineup of his cabinet on November 11, following the October regional and Senate elections in which the Social Democrats failed.
According to CTK’s sources, Zeman has already signed the official documents on the appointment of Chvojka and Ludvik.
Chvojka said his opinions on many issues were different from those of Dienstbier.
“The basic thesis is that I agree with the president that human rights belong to all, regardless of their ethnicity or gender, and everybody must be given the same attention,” he said.
Zeman does not plan to meet Dienstbier who is his critic and who was his rival in the direct presidential election four years ago.
Chvojka said he talked with Zeman about the draft amendment to the law on the conflict of interest, which is dubbed Lex Babis.
“The president presented his view, I presented my view,” he said.
Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) is a billionaire who owns the giant Agrofert holding that includes media and firms that apply for state subsidies. Under the new bill, Babis’s firms would not have access to public contracts, incentives and some subsidies.
Chvojka said he wants people who have been living in poor ghettos to have jobs and their children to attend school. “This would increase their living standard,” he said.
He said he would present his plans in more detail only after his appointment next week.

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