Potential Czech PM does not expect 6-6-3 division of govt seats

Ilustrační foto - Předseda ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka hovoří s novináři před prvním společným povolebním jednáním všech tří stran chystané vládní koalice. Zástupci ČSSD, ANO a KDU-ČSL se sešli po skončení jednání Poslanecké sněmovny.

published: 03.12.2013, 14:23 | updated: 03.12.2013 14:27:21

Prague - Bohuslav Sobotka, head of the Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) and potential new prime minister, told CTK today he does not expect the three coalition partners to divide the cabinet seats in the 6-6-3 ratio, which was mentioned previously.

The election-winning CSSD is negotiating forming a new government with two centrist partners, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

Sobotka told CTK that he does not want the nascent cabinet to include the post of a minister for European affairs. Nevertheless, he can imagine the posts of ministers without portfolio and deputy prime ministers without a particular ministry to head, he added.

The three parties´ leaders will discuss the personnel filling of the government posts at their meeting today.

"We will primarily discuss the proportion [of the parties´ representation] in the cabinet and also the parties´ priorities in terms of the ministries they want to be led by their representatives, so that we know where our priorities clash and where consensus can be found more easily," Sobotka said.

He said he would tell the CSSD´s concrete priorities to the ANO and KDU-CSL chairmen, Andrej Babis and Pavel Belobradek, respectively.

He said he does not reckon with the cabinet including the post of a minister for EU affairs.

"I think the European agenda should be a part of the Government Office´s agenda," Sobotka said.

"The model I will propose is the prime minister and a state secretary for European affairs" who would be responsible for the European agenda, he said.

Sobotka said he would like the cabinet to include "strong personalities from the CSSD leadership or well-known CSSD personalities with whom people link positive expectations."

Previously he said he reckons with CSSD deputy chairman and shadow foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek´s participation in the new cabinet.

According to recent speculations, the post of interior minister may go to CSSD deputy chairman Milan Chovanec, who was previously expected to become transport minister.

"I think both ministries may be considered in this case," Sobotka said.

Commenting on the persisting tension of the CSSD, Sobotka said the situation enables the party to join the government that can be stable.

"The internal problems in the CSSD are big, but in my opinion they currently do not threaten our capability of bearing government responsibility. Nevertheless, they threaten our capability of winning elections in the future," Sobotka said.

It is necessary to seek ways to change the party, also by means of the broadest possible participation of its members.

Immediately after the late October general election, which the CSSD narrowly won before ANO, the party was rocked by an unsuccessful attempt by Sobotka´s rivals to oust him as party chairman and candidate for prime minister.


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