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Šlechtová confirms she is candidate for defence minister

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Prague, Nov 28 (CTK) – Czech outgoing Regional Development Minister Karla Slechtova (for ANO) has confirmed that she is a candidate for defence minister in the minority cabinet prepared by the election-winning ANO leader Andrej Babis, public Czech Television (CT) reported on Tuesday.

Babis submitted a list of candidates for ministers to President Milos Zeman at their meeting at Prague Castle earlier on Tuesday. Babis said that at Zeman’s request he would not release the ministers’ names for now because Zeman wants to meet the newcomers to the government first.

“The nomination for defence minister has made me happy. I am accepting it with adequate humility and as minister, I am ready to be a partner to the military and secure the necessary service within the expected increase in the number of both soldiers and the [defence] budget,” Slechtova wrote in a SMS message to CT.

According to unofficial information, ANO’s outgoing Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky is to be new minister for foreign affairs.

ANO comfortably won the October 20-21 general election.

The outgoing cabinet, which was led by the Social Democrats (CSSD) and in which ANO had six out of the total 17 seats, is to hand in its resignation on Wednesday.

Zeman said on Tuesday he would appoint Babis prime minister-designate on December 6 and his cabinet, which is expected to have 15 members, including four women, on December 13.

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