Future Czech PM against Rusnok´s ministers staying at offices


14.01.2014 19:26

Prague - Future Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) does not consider it reasonable that the ministers of Jiri Rusnok´s outgoing government should remain at the ministries as deputy ministers, he said in an interview with CTK today.


Budoucí premiér Bohuslav Sobotka poskytl 14. ledna v Praze rozhovor ČTK. ČTK Šulová Kateřina

President Milos Zeman said last week the outgoing ministers are experts and that they would be useful candidates for the posts of deputy ministers.

Sobotka said the decision-making on deputy ministers will be fully in the hands of particular government members.

He said the CSSD, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDu-CSL), who will form the future government, have agreed to recommend some experts to the ministries of their partners.

"But I do not consider it entirely reasonable, from the point of view of the ministry´s management, from the point of view of authority that the minister needs to be able to manage the office, that a former minister should hold the post of a deputy," Sobotka said.

Zeman made comments on the candidates for ministers on which the three future government parties agreed last week.

He said some of them are not experts for the given sector. On the other hand, he said the ministers of Rusnok´s outgoing government are experts.

Some of them were running for the Party of Citizens´ Rights - the Zemanites (SPOZ), of which Zeman is honorary chairman, in the October early general election, but they suffered an utter defeat.


Czech govt to ask MPs for confidence three weeks of appointment

The future Czech government will ask the Chamber of Deputies for confidence three weeks after its appointment and it will hold its first meeting on the day of assuming its duties, future PM Sobotka told CTK.

President Milos Zeman announced previously that he will appoint the government of the CSSD, ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) by end-January.

Sobotka said the government will deal with a replacement of the head of the Government Office, the schedule of preparation of its policy statement and its legislative plan at its first meeting.

The government is to ask the lawmakers for a confidence vote within 30 days of its appointment.

"I think it is not necessary to make use of the whole period," Sobotka said.

He said the government will need about two weeks to draft its policy statement and then it could take it to the Chamber of Deputies.

Zeman wants to appoint Sobotka prime minister on Friday. He will then start talks with ministerial candidates.

Zeman said he need not appoint everyone proposed by Sobotka. He bases his stand on an opinion by the Institute of the State and Law of the Science Academy of last December.

However, many constitutional experts say the constiution does not allow him this.

Sobotka said previously a competence complaint against Zeman could be filed with the Constitutional Court if he refused to appoint a candidate.

Sobotka said the president, even though elected by people and not by parliament, should not interfere in the makeup of the new government.


Talks with Zeman about Czech cabinet can be precedent - CSSD head

The result of the current negotiations with President Zeman on the lineup of the new government can become a precedent, future PM Sobotka said in an interview with CTK.

He said Zeman should not interfere in the composition of the new government even though he was chosen in a direct election.

Zeman won the first direct presidential election in the country in January.

Zeman said last week he has objections to some candidates for ministers. Before he appoints the government of the CSSD, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), he wants to talk about possible alternatives to some names and to meet the proposed candidates.

"I consider it important to realise that not a particular makeup of the government is at stake, but that this is also a certain precedent from the point of view of procedure of constitutional institutions in the future," Sobotka said.

He said the government should also in future be derived from the parliamentary majority, and not from the president´s opinions even if he were chosen in a direct election.

Sobotka said the neighbouring countries´ presidents elected by people, for instance in Slovakia and Austria, do not meddle with political parties´ formation of governments.

He said he does not consider Zeman´s objections to some ministerial candidates so serious as to consider other candidates.

Sobotka said he expects the candidates to be able to defend themselves at Zeman´s planned meetings with them.


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