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August 20, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Hamacek To Remain Interior Minister

By ČTK Jan Hamacek Czech CSSD

Prague, Aug 20 (CTK) – Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) leader Jan Hamacek is not considering leaving the post of interior minister and keeping only that of foreign minister, with which he has been also charged temporarily, he said today, adding that Miroslav Poche remains the only candidate for foreign minister.

 

Hamacek said he is solving the situation where President Milos Zeman refused to appoint Poche (CSSD) together with the whole two-party cabinet of Andrej Babis (ANO) in late June.

 

The CSSD leadership chose Poche, a MEP, for the post in May. Zeman, however, refused to appoint him, citing his alleged challenging of the migrant quotas and Prague’s pro-Israel policy.

 

Dismissing Zeman’s arguments, Poche said he wants to persuade him about his qualities as a potential chief of diplomacy. For the time being, he has taken up the post of the Foreign Ministry’s political secretary.

 

The CSSD leadership is to meet to discuss the situation at the end of August.

 

Hamacek reiterated today that the party wants to solve the issue by the end of the summer holiday. He said he has an idea of how to solve it, but would tell it to the players involved directly, not via media.

 

He dismissed the speculation that he might give up his regular post of interior minister and keep that of foreign minister only.

 

“I consider my role at the Foreign Ministry interim and I am dealing with the [filling of the post of] foreign minister. This does not mean my planning to switch to the Foreign Ministry and searching for a [new] interior minister,” Hamacek said.

 

Poche remains the only candidate for foreign minister, he said.

 

In mid-July, Zeman told CTK that he considers the question of the filling of the foreign minister’s seat closed. It is up to Hamacek how long he will keep the post, he said.

 

More than 50 days have elapsed since June 27 when the Babis ANO-CSSD cabinet was appointed. Poche is thus the longest-waiting nominee for a minister since the establishment of the Czech Republic in 1993.

 

Before, the record was held by Miroslav Gregr. In 2001, then CSSD PM Zeman asked president Vaclav Havel to fill the vacant post of industry and trade minister with Gregr (CSSD). Before doing so, Havel hesitated for several weeks, also due to discrepancies between his and Gregr’s economic views.

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