Babis Changes His Mind, Says CSSD Nominee ‘Not A Good Candidate’

Andrej Babis and Milos Zeman

Prime Minister Andrej Babis has sided with President Milos Zeman and come out against the nomination of Michal Smarda for Culture Minister. According to Babis, Smarda is not qualified to hold the office.


“I hold the same opinion as Zeman that Mr. Smarda is not a good candidate. Especially after his countless media appearances,” Babis said. “I say for myself; I will not be in a government with this gentleman. “I am afraid that he would only criticize the government based on his comments to the media so far,” he added.


President Milos Zeman said on Wednesday that he wouldn’t appoint Michal Smarda due to his lack of experience. Zeman asked Hamacek to nominate a new candidate, which Social Democrats have refused to do so far. They argue the president must abide by the constitution.


“The issue will be resolved next week,” Babis said. Babis claims Zeman is following the law. Because he didn’t technically refuse to appoint Smarda, he only requested a new nominee.


Jan Hamaceck tweeted that he was shocked by prime ministers change of mind, considering the prime minister recommended Mr. Smarda for the post. He added he wouldn’t comment further on the matter until after his meeting with Babis on Monday.


The opposition and constitutional lawyers say the law doesn’t allow Zeman to refuse to appoint a minister and that he is acting unconstitutionally.


CSSD ministers are threatening to leave the ruling coalition over the dispute.