Czech Social Democrat leader gives ministers' names to Zeman


03.01.2014 19:19

Prague - The Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) leader and probable future prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka passed, the biographies of the candidates for ministers in the coalition government in the making to President Milos Zeman today.


Šéf ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří 3. ledna v Lánech s novináři po schůzce s prezidentem Milošem Zemanem, kterému předal životopisy kandidátů na ministry v trojkoaliční vládě. Jména chce zveřejnit až 6. ledna. ČTK Krumphanzl Michal

Sobotka said he only wanted to disclose the names on Monday, after the signing of the coalition pact between the CSSD, [media and food mogul] Andrej Babis's ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

Sobotka declined to say whether Zeman had any comments on the proposed names.

"I visited the president in order to inform him about the possible names in the government and I passed him the biographies of potential members of the nascent government so that he could be acquainted with them and their expertise in advance and so that he does not learn them from the media," Sobotka said.

"We spent some time primarily by a discussion of the individual nominees, but I do not want to elaborate on the meeting. Neither will I comment on Zeman's views and arguments he presented," Sobotka said.

Sobotka said he had told Zeman the representatives of the three-party coalition will sign the coalition agreement in the Chamber of Deputies at 14:00 CET on Monday.

Sobotka then wants to meet Babis and KDU-CSL leader Pavel Belobradek to confirm the proposed government lineup.

Sobotka will then pass the list of candidates and the signed coalition agreement to Zeman.

Zeman has repeatedly made it clear that he is reluctant to accept some suggested names, most notably Social Democrat Lubomir Zaoralek who may be proposed for foreign minister.

Zaoralek was reputedly one of the CSSD deputies who refused to vote for Zeman in the 2003 presidential election, held in the parliament. Sobotka, too, is considered Zeman's opponent.

Zeman is reportedly also against Jiri Dienstbier, the official Social Democrat candidate in the direct presidential election won by Zeman at the beginning of the year, becoming minister for Government Legislative Council, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities.

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