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Pelikán to head Legislative Council in new government

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Prague, Dec 13 (CTK) – Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) became the head of the Czech Government Legislative Council at the cabinet’s first meeting on Wednesday, while PM and ANO chairman Andrej Babis will head the Science and Research Council, Babis told reporters Wednesday.

In the previous coalition government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the former council was headed by human rights minister Jan Chvojka (CSSD) and deputy PM Pavel Belobradek (KDU-CSL) headed the latter.

The government also appointed deputy prime ministers – Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO), who filled the same posts in the previous cabinet as well, and Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky, who headed the Defence Ministry in the past term.

Both are also ANO deputy chairmen.

Babis said he would like to closely cooperate with Stropnicky on the agenda of European policy that he as PM would steer.

The new government also decided to regularly meet on Wednesdays as the previous government.

Nevertheless, it will meet next time on Monday to approve its draft policy statement that Babis wants to submit to the parties in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, to ask for confidence.

He assigned the ministers to formulate their priorities in the legislative plan for 2018 by January 5. The government will approve its plan of legislative work by the end of January.

It intends to ask the Chamber of Deputies for confidence on January 10. However, according to the reactions by parties in parliament, Babis’s government cannot count with their support.

The new government, which President Milos Zeman appointed on Wednesday, has 15 members.

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