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May 12, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Ministers Of Babis’s Emergent Government Revealed

By ČTK Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis

Prague, May 12 (CTK) – Tomas Koranda, Ivana Straska and Gabriela Nekolova, these are the names that may feature in the Czech government in the making, now negotiated by Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD), the daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes today.

 

Representatives of the two parties approved their coalition pact on Friday.

 

The Social Democrats are to receive the interior, foreign, labour and social affairs, culture and agriculture ministries, MfD writes.

 

The latter post is to be filled by Miroslav Toman, who is preferred by President Milos Zeman. In this sense, it will not be a purely Social Democrat ministry.

 

The post of Industry and Trade Minister will be kept by Tomas Huner, while Dan Tok is likely to leave as transport minister.

 

Tok may be followed by Koranda, an independent and president of the board of the construction firm Hochtief.

 

Social Democrat leader Jan Hamacek is to become the new interior minister, it is almost a foregone conclusion, MfD writes.

 

Hamacek is to name his allies as the ministers of the interior, foreign affairs and labour and social affairs.

 

The candidates for the agriculture and culture will be selected by the Social Democrat first deputy chairman Jiri Zimola.

 

MEP Miroslav Poche seems to have the biggest chance of becoming the foreign minister. However, his choice is opposed by President Milos Zeman who is threatening that he will not appoint him.

 

In fact, Poche, the informal head of the influential Prague Social Democrat branch, is a crucial man for Hamacek. First, Poche gives him the numerous votes of Prague delegates and, second, he has very good contacts with leaders from other regions.

 

However, Zeman is of the view that Poche does not have the necessary skills for the post of foreign minister. In addition, Prague was one of the few regions in the CSSD that supported Zeman’s rival Jiri Drahos in the presidential election in January.

 

On the other hand, many Social Democrats around Hamacek are opposed to Zeman’s man Toman.

 

The Social Democrat agricultural commission has also proposed to the post Michal Hasek, the former first deputy chairman of the party.

 

Former deputy labour and social affairs minister Tomas Petricek may also be envisaged for the post of foreign minister, MfD writes.

 

Former deputy labour and social affairs minister Gabriela Nekolova is a candidate for the post of labour and social affairs minister.

 

However, she is from the Usti Region, in which the local Social Democrats are against the party entering the government coalition with Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO.

 

If they reconsider their position, Nekolova’s road to the post will be free. There is the alternative candidacy of another deputy labour and social affairs minister, Petr Krcal, from the Vysocina Region.

 

The post of culture minister is very likely to be filled by South Bohemia Regional Governor Ivana Straska. If not she, it may be occupied by Jana Fialova, a new deputy chairwoman of the Social Democrats. She, too, is from the Vysocina Region.

 

However, given the balance of power in the party, it is clear that two representatives of the small region cannot be in the government for the Social Democrats.

 

Zimola himself is saying that he will not try to enter the government or become a regional governor. He sees his future in the party headquarters where he wants to devote his efforts to the management of the party, for which Hamacek will not have enough time.

 

Babis, too, is looking for new ministers.

 

There is the problem of the successor to Justice Minister Robert Pelikan. It may be Tatana Mala, an ANO deputy from South Moravia, although Pelikan himself recommended his deputy Jeronym Tejc.

 

Due to the coalition pact, the government will be left by Interior Minister Lubomir Metnar, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaroslav Nemcova and Culture Minister Ilja Smid.

 

The government of ANO and the CSSD is to have 93 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies. As a result, it needs the votes of the KSCM to have a majority in it. Taken together, ANO, the CSSD and the KSCM have 108 deputies in the 200-member lower house.

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