Andrej Babis told idnes.cz he wants the Social Democrats to remain in the ruling coalition. He added, if Michal Smarda wants to help his party, he should withdraw his nomination for Culture Minister. Then a new nominee can be named by the CSSD.
CSSD head Jan Hamacek said that the CSSD wants to be in the government, but the constitution and the coalition agreement must be respected. Babis claims that neither of these documents has been violated by him or by President Milos Zeman.
If Smarda wants to help the CSSD, he should resign, Babis said. “And let the CSSD come up with a different (nominee) name and discuss it with me under the coalition agreement,” he said.
According to Babis, the Minister of Culture should be able to represent abroad, i.e., speak at least one foreign language, have education and knowledge. “I respect the coalition agreement and have no specific candidate,” he said.
Babis and Hamacek will hold talks to try and reach an agreement on Monday.