Communists Demand Social Democrats Drop PocheČTK
Prague, June 17 (CTK) – The Social Democrat (CSSD) MEP Poche as a foreign minister is an insurmountable obstacle to the toleration of the ANO-CSSD government by the Communists (KSCM), their chairman Vojtech Filip said on public Czech TV (CT) today.
He added that he had informed CSSD chairman Jan Hamacek about this earlier, which Hamacek denied. He said such a categorical condition had not been expressed.
Hamacek said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec discussion programme on CT that this was a serious problem that must be solved. However, the CSSD does not let anyone dictate conditions to it, he added.
Poche said today he did not insist on his nomination, but that he expected the CSSD to insist on it. He he was not considering giving it up at the recommendation by PM Andrej Babis (ANO). However, if his name were the only obstacle to the government formation, he would take this into consideration, Poche said.
He added that he had not heard any serious arguments and facts that would prevent him from becoming diplomacy head.
Poche told CT that he had faced pressure for two months. Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek, former CSSD deputy chairman Michal Hasek and most recently Filip exerted pressure on him, he added.
The Communists have also raised objections to other names in the nascent government, for instance, current Health Minister Adam Vojtech (for ANO) who should continue in the post, Hamacek said.
However, Filip insisted that the Social Democrats had known about the categorical rejection of Poche by the KSCM. Hamacek dismissed this.
Filip argued that Poche had stood up against the Czech Republic in the vote on migration in the European Parliament, which the KSCM minded. “This is no trustworthy man to me,” he said about Poche.
Hamacek rejected the KSCM objections to Poche as nonsensical and expedient.
Poche also rejected the reasons for rejecting his nomination. “I do not think that the government should fall over some opinions from 2015,” he said.
He added that he had not heard any objections to his stances on migration from the MEPs for the KSCM either. Filip’s arguments are used by the “disinformation webs” and the chairman of the anti-EU ultra-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), Tomio Okamura, he noted.
Poche also pointed out that Babis (ANO) had asked him on Friday to send him his CV for the president.
Hamacek said earlier in the the Duel discussion programme on Prima TV that the Social Democrats had done the maximum in the talks on their coalition government with ANO and had nowhere to step back. He did not rule out that the dispute about ministerial posts might frustrate the government plan.
Hamacek noted that the Communists had primarily minded Vojtech during the talks behind the closed doors and that Filip had never directly said the KSCM would not support a government with Poche in it.
Hamacek also ruled out that he would be persuading Poche to give up the nomination. Babis called on Poche on Saturday to do so.
The Presidential Office said Hamacek had promised Zeman before the CSSD referendum to propose someone else for foreign minister instead of Poche. “He (Hamacek) did not keep his word given to the president,” Ovcacek tweeted.
Hamacek reiterated on CT what he said on Prima that the ANO-CSSD government might not be formed eventually due to the dispute about posts.
“This is a serious problem that might threaten the coalition,” Hamacek said in reaction to Filip’s sharp words.