Friday, 24 November 2017

Babiš selects candidates for eight cabinet posts

ČTK |
2 November 2017

Prague, Nov 1 (CTK) - The election-winning ANO leader Andrej Babis has chosen up to eight candidates for ministers in his nascent Czech government, and he is still seeking experts to head the ministries of industry and trade, education and culture, he told CTK on Wednesday.

"As for the defence minister's seat, there are several potential candidates," Babis said after a meeting of ANO's broad leadership.

According to some information, the post of defence minister is no longer to be occupied by Martin Stropnicky (ANO), who held it in the previous term, since Stropnicky, a former ambassador to Portugal, Italy and the Vatican, might become foreign minister.

"We have discussed the issue with Mr Stropnicky, a final conclusion is yet to be made," Babis said.

He also said the ANO leadership called on the party's regional governors who were elected lower house deputies last month to choose which of the two posts to keep.

The appeal concerns the governors of the Moravia-Silesia, Olomouc and Karlovy Vary regions. They are asked to follow the example of Jaroslava Pokorna Jermanova, ANO's governor of the Central Bohemia Region who announced her resignation as a deputy on Tuesday.

According to previous information, Babis's government, which is expected to be a minority one, should include Richard Brabec, Dan Tok, Robert Pelikan and Karla Slechtova (all ANO), who hold the posts of the environment, transport, justice and regional development ministers, respectively, in the outgoing centre-left coalition government.

Babis said he wants to leave vacant the post of the minister for legislation and human rights, which Social Democrat (CSSD) Jan Chvojka holds in the outgoing cabinet.

The problem is that the minister is bound to simultaneously head the Government Legislative Council, Babis said.

"We will probably subordinate the minister's agenda to the Justice Ministry. This will reduce the total number of ministers by one," he added.

Babis's planned minority government lacks a majority support in the Chamber of Deputies for the time being.

Babis said the government will prepare its policy statement clearly marking the articles promoting other parties' programmes. Based on it, Babis will try to persuade other parties to support his government in parliament's vote of confidence.

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