published: 04.11.2013, 11:17 | updated: 04.11.2013 11:51:13
Prague - The need for all ministers to have a lustration certificate should not crucially complicate the upcoming negotiations on forming a new Czech government, Bohuslav Sobotka, chairman of the election-winning Social Democrats (CSSD), said today.
The CSSD, which won the October 25-26 early general election, wants to negotiate about forming a government with the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
Sobotka, who met Bohumir Dufek, head of the country´s second strongest umbrella union ASO this morning, said he would like to discuss the government formation also with the unions and employers.
Sobotka said the negotiations are expected to start after November 10, when the schizophrenia in the CSSD must end.
At a meeting on November 10, the CSSD broad leadership is expected to confirm Sobotka´s mandate as CSSD chairman, recently challenged by his opponents in the party.
"I think this is no crucial complication. It definitely does not prevent us from launching the negotiations after next weekend and from conducting them intensively," Sobotka said, referring to the lustration certificates as President Milos Zeman´s condition for appointing ministers.
In the first days and weeks to come, the negotiations will focus on programme issues and only afterwards on personnel ones, Sobotka said, adding that the health care sector is one of the topics he wants to be negotiated first.
The government parties will each be responsible for its nominees for ministers, Sobotka said.
He said he prefers the CSSD forming a joint cabinet with ANO and the KDU-CSL to the variant of a CSSD minority cabinet kept afloat by the two partners.
The Presidential Office has required a lustration certificate from all members of the previous cabinets so far. Presidential Office spokeswoman Hana Burianova confirms in today´s issue of daily Lidove noviny (LN) Zeman will also require lustration certificates from all candidates for seats in the new government. He would not appoint anyone without the lustration certificate, Burianova said.
This might pose a problem for ANO chairman Andrej Babis. Before 1989, the communist secret police StB kept a file of Babis as their collaborator codenamed Bures. Babis, born and raised in Slovakia, says his name figures among StB agents unrightfully and seeks exoneration in court proceedings that are underway in Slovakia.
The court is to decide on the case in January at the earliest.
Passed by the then Czechoslovak Federal Assembly in 1991, the lustration (screening) law bans former collaborators of the StB, former members of the People´s Militia communist para-military units and pre-1989 high Communist functionaries from high posts in the state administration.
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