Prague - President Milos Zeman appointed Social Democrat (CSSD) head Bohuslav Sobotka new Czech prime minister today, 83 days after the October early general election, which is the longest gap between the polls and the naming of a new head of government.
Prezident Miloš Zeman (vpravo) jmenoval při slavnostním ceremoniálu uspořádaném 17. ledna na Pražském hradě předsedu ČSSD Bohuslava Sobotku (vlevo) premiérem a pověřil jej sestavením nové vlády České republiky. ČTK Kamaryt Michal
The Czech Republic may have a government with a political mandate by end-January.
The country now has two prime ministers. The caretaker government is headed by Jiri Rusnok (unaffiliated).
Sobotka will head a centre-left coalition government of the CSSD, ANO and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
"I wish you to succeed in creating a professional team based on expert knowledge and on life experience, that will become a strong and successful government of the Czech Republic," Zeman told Sobotka.
Sobotka said he is ready to submit a proposal for the appointment of a new government soon.
He said he government should start working as soon as possible.
The CSSD leadership chose the last government member this morning. It proposed Michaela Marksova Tominova, the party´s expert spokeswoman for human rights and the family, for labour and social affairs minister.
The CSSD is returning to the government after seven years spent in opposition.
Zeman wants to meet particular nominees next week and speak with them about their priorities.
His spokesman Jiri Ovcacek has said most meetings will be held on Wednesday and Thursday.
Sobotka also wants to meet the ministerial candidates after his appointment, particularly those to whom he has not yet talked.
Zeman has objections to some nominees. He claims that he need not appoint all ministers proposed to him by the new prime minister.
Sobotka, for his part, says the president should not interfere in the creation of the government. He said previously he could file a competence complaint with the Constitutional Court if Zeman refused to appoint some candidates.