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Zeman tells Social Democrats to support cabinet in referendum

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Slezske Pavlovice, North Moravia, May 17 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman recommended to the Social Democrat (CSSD) members that they support the coalition government of their party and Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ ANO in the intra-party referendum on Thursday.

Zeman also said he was not ready to accept Social Democrat MEP Miroslav Poche as the foreign minister in the government that may be formed by ANO and the CSSD.

Before the January presidential election, Poche supported Zeman’s rival Jiri Drahos.

When asked by journalists whether Poche was acceptable for him, Zeman answered: “No.”

Earlier on Thursday, Hamacek spoke with Zeman about the candidates for the ministerial posts in the government in the making.

“We were speaking about the party referendum and as a former leader of the Social Democrats, which I was for eight years and I think that these were successful years, I recommend to all Social Democrats that they vote in the referendum for the party’s cooperation with ANO,” Zeman said.

Zeman declined to elaborate and Hamacek wants to first inform the party leadership about the meeting.

The Social Democrat leadership will discuss the proposals on Friday afternoon.

If the Social Democrats approve the entry to the government, they are to fill the posts of five ministers.

The CSSD may be in charge of the ministries of interior, foreign affairs, culture, labour and social affairs and agriculture in the coalition cabinet.

“I am aware of some Social Democrats being against the idea. I respect this in the democratic society, but one has to bear in mind that as a rule, these are the people who led the party to the unfortunate 7 percent [the party gained in the 2017 general elections],” Zeman said.

Some Social Democrats are against Babis since he is criminally prosecuted over an EU subsidy fraud.

Zeman said he would like to meet the new candidates for ministers.

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