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July 18, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Foreign Ministry Head Settled: Zeman

By ČTK Babis Zeman Hamacek Poche

Prague, July 18 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman considers the question of the post of foreign minister closed, he told CTK today when asked about the ministry that has been temporarily headed by Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman Jan Hamacek due to Zeman’s refusal to appoint the CSSD candidate Miroslav Poche.

 

Hamacek simultaneously heads the Interior Ministry. The CSSD has insisted on the appointment of Poche, a MEP, as foreign minister so far.

 

Zeman said he considers the question of foreign minister closed as the cabinet is complete except for the vacant post of the labour minister, which Petr Krcal left amid a plagiarism scandal on Tuesday.

 

It is up to Hamacek to decide how long he will be both foreign and interior minister, Zeman said.

 

When appointing the cabinet on June 27, Zeman refused to name Poche as foreign minister due to reservations he has about him, and he named Hamacek acting foreign minister instead.

 

It is nothing unusual if one minister is in charge of two ministries, Zeman told CTK today.

 

“Mr Hamacek, with his experience, can undoubtedly be a good minister of foreign affairs,” Zeman said.

 

He said he can see no reason to negotiate about the foreign minister’s post with anyone.

 

“If Mr Hamacek resigned from the post, it would be a reason for me to start negotiations, but he has not resigned and I hope that he is not going to do so in the foreseeable future,” Zeman said.

 

In May, the CSSD leadership chose Poche as the party’s candidate for foreign minister.

 

However, Zeman refused to appoint him, citing Poche’s alleged challenging of Prague’s rejection of the EU migrant quotas and its pro-Israeli policy.

 

At a personal meeting with Poche, Zeman asked him not to seek the ministerial post.

 

The CSSD insists on the appointment of Poche and is calling on PM Andrej Babis (ANO) to act accordingly. Babis, on his part, says he has sent the relevant proposal to Zeman and that a solution should mainly be sought by the CSSD.

 

Hamacek calls the situation at the Foreign Ministry’s head temporary.

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