Zeman to meet possible PM Sobotka by weekend, discuss govt lineup

Prezident Miloš Zeman.

published: 31.12.2013, 12:05 | updated: 31.12.2013 12:11:32

Prague - Czech President Milos Zeman will receive Bohuslav Sobotka, head of the election-winning Social Democrats (CSSD) and the potential prime minister, by the end of the week to discuss the nascent cabinet´s lineup, Zeman´s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK today.

In November, Zeman entrusted Sobotka to start government-forming negotiations. A coalition government is being formed by the CSSD and the two centrist partners, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

Ovcacek said he does not expect Zeman to appoint Sobotka prime minister this week.

The coalition pact has not been signed as yet, he pointed out, refusing to anticipate the date of Sobotka´s appointment.

The Presidential Office originally said Zeman would meet Sobotka shortly after New Year. Ovcacek today specified the information saying the meeting will take place this week.

Zeman and Sobotka will probably also discuss some candidates for ministers who are a point of controversy.

For example, Zeman recently said he would have problem appointing Martin Stropnicky (ANO), an actor and former diplomat, as defence minister.

The coalition partners, nevertheless, have nominated Stropnicky for the post.

"We will not comment on the personnel issues in the media," Ovcacek said today.

On Monday, Sobotka said he expects Zeman to appoint him prime minister in early January. He said he has met all conditions Zeman set for his appointment.

If Zeman showed reluctance to name some of the ministerial candidates proposed to him, Sobotka is ready to lodge a complaint with the Constitutional Court (US), he said, adding that he hopes that he will not be forced to take the step.

Sobotka and ANO and KDU-CSL leaders, Andrej Babis and Pavel Belobradek, are to sign the coalition agreement on Monday, when they are expected to definitively confirm the new cabinet´s planned lineup.


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