Czech coalition leaders not to meet by end of year

Předseda ČSSD a předpokládaný budoucí premiér Bohuslav Sobotka 5. prosince v Praze po jednání s prezidentem Milošem Zemanem.

published: 23.12.2013, 16:48 | updated: 23.12.2013 17:01:29

Prague - The leaders of the centre-left coalition to be formed by the Social Democrats (CSSD), the ANO movement and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) will probably not meet again before the end of the year.

However, Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka, who is entrusted with forming the government, is likely to visit President Milos Zeman in order to inform him about the planned government lineup.

Before the meeting, the CSSD board is to have a meeting at which Sobotka wants to discuss the list of ministerial candidates for Social Democrats.

At the weekend, the coalition representatives agreed to sign the coalition pact on January 6. Before, they are unlikely to meet.

The ANO leader, agro and media tycoon Andrej Babis, leaves abroad at Christmas and will only return on January 5, his spokeswoman Radka Burketova said.

Babis does not reckon with a meeting with Zeman either.

However, Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK today that he wanted to meet leaders of the coalition parties to be ensured about the support to the government in the Chamber of Deputies.

The Christian Democrats have announced their candidates to the government posts as did ANO, with the exception of transport minister.

The media has written that it may be ANO deputy Martin Kolovratnik.

The Social Democrats have not officially published their candidates.

Sobotka wants to discuss at first the candidates with the party's board that is to meet on Friday. Subsequently he may go with the full list to Zeman.

The CSSD may be represented in the government by Milan Chovanec (Interior Ministry), Lubomir Zaoralek (Foreign Ministry), Jan Mladek (Industry and Trade Ministry), Marcel Chladek (Education Ministry) and Svatopluk Nemecek (Health Ministry).

It is unclear who will fill the post of Labour and Social Affairs Minister as Social Democrat shadow minister Roman Sklenak is also chairman of the deputy group.

The CSSD is also to occupy the post of minister without portfolio responsible for the government legislative council, human rights and equal opportunities. It may be filled with senator Jiri Dienstbier.

Zeman made it clear earlier that he was not ready to name some suggested candidates.

His reservations mainly related to Zaoralek and to Martin Stropnicky, who was proposed by ANO as defence minister.

Dienstbier said since constitutional powers were rather clearly delineated, the president could not reject anyone without giving a serious reason.


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