Saturday, 20 October 2018

Babiš's gov't to lay wreath to first Czechoslovak president's tomb

13 December 2017

Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) - The members of the future minority government of Andrej Babis (ANO) will lay a wreath to the grave of the first Czechoslovak president Tomas Garrigue Masaryk in Lany, Central Bohemia, before their appointment on Wednesday, ANO spokeswoman Lucie Kubovicova said on Tuesday.

The ministers will go to Lany by bus from the ANO headquarters in Prague-Chodov.

From Lany, the future ministers will go to the lower house of Czech parliament to take part in a meeting of the European affairs committee. At the committee meeting, Babis is to present the position he will have as the country's representative at a European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

The EU summit will be the first event at which Babis will represent the Czech Republic as its prime minister.

President Milos Zeman will appoint the cabinet at 14:00. On December 6, he appointed Babis as prime minister-designate.

The new cabinet will held its first meeting after its appointment. Before it, Babis will meet outgoing prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD), outgoing deputy prime minister for science Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) and outgoing human rights minister Jan Chvojka (CSSD) at the Government Office.

The posts of Belobradek and Chvojka will not be included in Babis's government, which has 15 members, compared to 17 members of Sobotka's team.

Later on Wednesday, Babis wants to inaugurate seven ministers before his trip to Brussels: Karla Slechtova (defence), Martin Stropnicky (foreign affairs), Lubomir Metnar (interior), Tomas Huner (industry and trade), Jaroslava Nemcova (labour and social affairs), Adam Vojtech (health) and Alena Schillerova (finance).

Four ministers will be inaugurated only on Monday, after Babis returns from Brussels - Robert Plaga (education), Ilja Smid (culture), Jiri Milek (agriculture) and Klara Dostalova (regional development).

Transport Minister Dan Tok, Justice Minister Robert Pelikan and Environment Minister Richard Brabec occupied their posts already in the Sobotka government. Stropnicky was defence minister in the previous government, while Slechtova headed the Regional Development Ministry.

Some previous Czech governments also laid wreaths to Masaryk's grave in Lany, about 30 km west of Prague. Zeman (then Social Democrats, CSSD) did so in 1998 after he was appointed prime minister, same as Vladimir Spidla (CSSD) in 2002 and Jiri Rusnok (unaffiliated) in 2013.

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