Social Democrats Approve Candidates For Minister Posts

Andrej Babiš, Jan Hamacek,

Prague, May 18 (CTK) – The board of the Czech Social Democrats (CSSD) approved their candidates for the posts of ministers today, including Miroslav Poche, rejected beforehand by President Milos Zeman, a participant in the meeting has told journalists.


The party leader, Jan Hamacek, is to become the interior minister, Petr Krcal, a former deputy labour and social affairs minister, is to be the labour and social affairs minister, Miroslav Toman, the president of the Food Chamber, is proposed as the next agriculture minister, and Antonin Stanek, the mayor of Olomouc, north Moravia, as the culture minister.


The nominees were approved by about 70 percent of the board.


Zeman has told the website Parlamentni listy that in 2015 Poche wrote an article that was positive towards migration and migrant quotas, due to which he should not be the foreign minister.


“Poche is a man who strongly supported the migration quotas. His focus would be at variance with the official foreign policy of the new government,” Zeman said.


Before the January presidential election, Poche supported Zeman’s rival Jiri Drahos.


Hamacek said he wanted to speak about Poche with Zeman.


He said in the past, too, Zeman had different views of the filling of the ministerial posts, but everything was eventually resolved.


Hamacek said Poche had a very good language proficiency and very good contacts abroad.


He said the CSSD wanted to continue with euro-Atlantic links and actively support economic diplomacy.


When it comes to Toman’s nomination, Hamacek said he had taken into account “innumerable recommendations” from the agricultural community.


Toman, an independent, is ready to join the CSSD, he added.


The Social Democrats are yet hold a referendum on whether to enter the coalition government with Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO. It will start on May 21 and end on June 14. The results will be announced on June 15.