Zeman only to reject minister for serious reasons-Czech CSSD head

Předseda ČSSD Bohuslav Sobotka.

published: 03.12.2013, 14:06 | updated: 03.12.2013 14:08:17

Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman can only refuse to appoint a government member if he has serious reasons for this, but not on the level of political argumentation, probable future prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman, told CTK today.

Sobotka is conducting negotiations with ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) about forming a coalition government based on the recent general election´s results.

He said he has knowledge of no reasons why Zeman should not appoint Lubomir Zaoralek or Jiri Dienstbier (both CSSD) members of the emerging government which some media speculated about.

Sobotka, who assessed his communication with Zeman as very frank, said the composition of the government primarily rests with the prime minister.

"I naturally respect the president´s right to refuse to appoint a government member if there were some serious, fundamental reasons,...but not reasons on the level of political arguments because I believe that given his constitutional position, the president should not politically interfere in the government´s makeup," Sobotka said.

He said, however, he will gladly listen to Zeman´s opinion of the government candidates, but that it is up to the prime minister to make the decision.

"The proposed lineup I will submit will not be based on the president´s proposal, but it will be based on the coalition parties´ proposal," Sobotka said.

He said he does not know any reasons that should prevent the appointment of Dienstbier, the CSSD´s shadow justice minister who unsuccessfully ran against Zeman in this year´s direct presidential election, and of Zaoralek, the CSSD´s shadow foreign minister who does not have any warm relations with Zeman either.

Sobotka counts minimally with Zaoralek for his government.

Since Sobotka declined Zeman´s invitation to the October 28 national holiday celebrations at Prague Castle after the "Lany coup," he has met Zeman three times. He informed him about the government-forming negotiations.

Sobotka said regular communication always helps promote relations.

"What I consider very positive is that we do not rely on any mediators who often play their own individual roles for the benefit of their own individual interests, but we communicate directly and I think that our communication is very frank," Sobotka said.

He said this is a good precondition for eliminating unnecessary conflicts between the government and the head of state in the future.


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