Babis: Poche Will Not Be Appointed Foreign MinisterČTK
Prague, Sept 2 (CTK) – Social Democrat (CSSD) nominee for the post of foreign minister Miroslav Poche works negatively in the office and he will not receive the post, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) told the Prima television station today.
Babis said he perceived the complicated situation among the Social Democrats. Their Friday postponement of the decision on whether to insist on Poche until after the October local and Senate elections is unfortunate, he added.
MEP Poche, whom President Milos Zeman refused to name as the foreign minister, now works as a political secretary at the Foreign Ministry.
The Social Democrat leader, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, is the acting foreign minister.
“I expect the (Social Democrats) to come up with some novelties,” Babis said, adding that he had a feeling that the CSSD would propose someone else to the post, but there is the question of when they will do so.
Babis said the new minister should share his view of the foreign policy, which was not the case of Poche.
He said the situation at the ministry did not pose any major problem because he himself devoted his efforts to foreign policy.
Babis said he would expect the new minister to primarily deal with economic diplomacy.
Hamacek wrote to CTK he would not comment on the affair.
“Poche’s activities are very negative, it is clear that he will not be the minister,” Babis said, adding that it was unacceptable for Poche to behave at the ministry as if he were the minister.
Poche said Babis should respect the coalition pact.
He told CTK he felt a large support from the Social Democrats.
“This is just a continuation of the pressure exerted on me by Babis, [Communist leader] Vojtech Filip and the people around Zeman,” Poche said.
“This may be connected with some differing views of the ministerial personnel policy. It seems to me that Babis wants to create the pressure thanks to which some ANO veterans would work there,” Poche told CTK.
He said he had not experienced any criticism from Babis personally, although they met during a recent meeting with ambassadors.
Poche said on Monday he would publish his speech he had delivered at the regular meeting of ambassadors at the beginning of the week.
He said in the speech he did not want the Czech Republic’s foreign political orientation to be changed or the Communist party to have influence on foreign policy.
Poche dismissed the idea that politics should intervene in the choice of ambassadors, which was the case in Babis’ previous government.
On Friday, Hamacek said he only wanted to resolve the dispute over Poche’s nomination after the local and Senate elections scheduled for October 5-6.
He argued that the topic might harm the Social Democrat campaign which should be positive. This is why the decision should be clear in the second half of October.
In mi-July, Zeman told CTK that he considered the question of the filling of the post closed. He said he left it solely up to Hamacek whether he would be heading simultaneously both offices.