Czech President appoints coalition government of PM Sobotka


29.01.2014 16:07

Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman appointed the coalition government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) today, 95 days after early general election.


Prezident Miloš Zeman jmenoval 29. ledna na Pražském hradě členy nové vlády. Zcela vlevo stojí ministr financí Andrej Babiš. ČTK Doležal Michal

The government that comprises the CSSD, ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) replaces Jiri Rusnok´s caretaker government that Zeman pushed through and that ruled the country from last summer.

"I am convinced that the new government will bring the Czech Republic economic growth, prosperity and the necessary stability," Sobotka, the second youngest Czech PM at 42, told Zeman after the appointment of the government.

Sobotka said the government wants to pursue a socially sensitive and just policy. It will be striving for an effective and transparent state, he added.

During the ceremony, Zeman criticised Sobotka for a number of mistakes he found in the government proposal that Sobotka gave him, in both the names and competences of particular ministers.

"Dear Mr Prime Minister, six mistakes in a 1.5-page document is a relatively big number and it does not fully prove the professionality that we all would like this government to have," said Zeman who himself made several slips of the tongue in his speech.

But he wished the government every success. He said the coalition government is the sole possible one.

He said an unnamed constitutional lawyer warned about making ANO´s head Andrej Babis finance minister.

"In view of that the ANO movement has clearly and publicly said it will not enter the government without its chairman, such a decision would mean to throw the government away and I am convinced that this coalition is the sole possible in the current situation and wish it every success," Zeman said.

He told the coalition parties´ heads to consider the civil service law a priority.

"This is the sole way towards getting rid of those politicians seeking lucrative posts. They will be pushed out from the state apparatus by experts. This is also the sole way towards achieving what other countries have attained thanks to the institute of state secretaries. You know well that the Czech Republic is the last EU country not having the civil service law," Zeman said.

Zeman made the passing of the bill in the first reading (which happened earlier this month) a condition for the appointment of the new government.

"I am convinced that this government will eventually make the law fully effective by the beginning of next year at the latest so that we may have a professional state administration that will be resistant to both commercial and political influences," Zeman said.

The new government has a majority of 111 votes in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies.

It was not clear until several days before the appointment whether Zeman, who publicly criticised some ministerial candidates, will appoint the whole government as it was proposed to him by Sobotka.

One hour before the appointment, the ingoing ministers met for a glass of wine.

After the appointment they will hold their first meeting in the government seat to deal with the preparation of a legislative plan and the policy statement, among others.

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