Prague, July 17 (CTK) – Petr Krcal’s (Social Democrats, CSSD) resignation as labour and social affairs minister today was the only possible solution to the emerged suspicion of plagiarism on his part in his thesis from 2007, Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) has told reporters.
He said he is leaving the choice of Krcal’s successor up to the CSSD, which controls the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry as one of its five posts in the 15-seat ANO-CSSD cabinet appointed on June 27.
As for Jana Malacova, the ministry’s senior official whom CSSD chairman Jan Hamacek has proposed to him for new minister, Babis said a positive aspect is that she studied abroad.
He called Malacova’s nomination good and said he will try to have her installed as minister as soon as possible.
“I am leaving the choice of [Krcal’s] successor up to the CSSD. If Ms Malacova arrives at the minister’s post, her former studies abroad will definitely be an advantage in the government,” Babis told Czech Television.
Malacova, who has headed the Labour Ministry’s department for family policy and the policy of ageing since June 2015, majored in political science at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main in 2007 and in political economy of Europe at London School of Economics in 2016.
Babis praised Hamacek for having resolved the situation around Krcal’s departure quickly.
Babis dismissed opposition politicians’ declaration that he is personally responsible for the changing of ministers.
“I [have been presented] as a universal culprit. Such a silly comment, how should I react to it. Everybody knows that he [Krcal] was a CSSD nominee and that we, ANO and the CSSD, do not interfere in each other’s nominations,” Babis said.
He said he met Malacova for a debate on a family policy plan in the past. “I spent about one hour with her and she made a good impression on me,” Babis said.
He said he will discuss the situation at the Labour Ministry with President Milos Zeman at the weekend.
A week ago, Tatana Mala (ANO) resigned as justice minister, also over suspected plagiarism in her thesis.
Babis jokingly said that the theses of all members of parliament deputies should be checked for plagiarism. “Let’s hope that the Chamber of Deputies would keep the quorum required for decision-making [if all deputies suspected of plagiarism quit],” Babis said.
“Definitely, all politicians must be checked [in this respect],” he said.