Zeman Poche


Social Democrats To Debate Foreign Minister Nominee

Miloš Zeman, Miroslav Poche

Prague, July 12 (CTK) – The Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) leadership will meet on Tuesday, according to CTK’s information, to discuss the deadlock situation where President Milos Zeman refuses to appoint CSSD-proposed Miroslav Poche as foreign minister in the new cabinet of ANO and the CSSD.


Zeman has refused to appoint Poche, a CSSD MEP, citing some reservations about him. The Foreign Ministry has been temporarily headed by CSSD chairman Jan Hamacek, simultaneously with his post of interior minister.


In May, the CSSD leadership approved the nominations of the party’s five ministers in the 15-seat cabinet, including Poche.


On June 27, Zeman appointed the cabinet without Poche, though Poche was among the nominees proposed to him by PM Andrej Babis (ANO).


Most CSSD members continue insisting on Poche’s candidacy, arguing that the party’s rank-and-file approved the five nominees, together with the CSSD’s entry into the government, in an internal referendum in June. They say the referendum result might have been different if it had not been for Poche, an influential member of the CSSD Prague branch.


Zeman had heralded it beforehand that he would not name Poche, citing Poche’s alleged challenging of Prague’s opposition to the migrant quotas and its pro-Israeli policy.


With Zeman refusing to give in, opinions have emerged in the party that it should choose another candidate for foreign minister instead of Poche.


CSSD first deputy head Jiri Zimola has mentioned former foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek as a possible candidate, but Zaoralek has refused to join the cabinet. The media also mentioned Ales Chmelar, the state secretary for European affairs, as a possible candidate.