milos zeman


Zeman Refuses To Appoint Migration Supporter Foreign Minister

Andrej Babiš, Jan Hamacek, Miloš Zeman, Miroslav Poche

Lany, Central Bohemia, June 22 (CTK) – It is acceptable for Social Democrat leader Jan Hamacek to head the Foreign Ministry for some time if President Milos Zeman refuses Social Democrat candidate Miroslav Poche, about whom he has serious reservations, Hamacek told journalists after meeting Zeman today.


Hamacek himself is a candidate for the post of interior minister.


Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said he would agree with such a solution. He wrote to CTK he had no problem with this.


Zeman insists on his reservations about Poche, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said.


At his meeting with MEP Poche today, Zeman advised him not to seek the post of foreign minister in the nascent government of ANO and the CSSD, Ovcacek said.


“The president believes that a supporter of migration cannot be a member of the anti-migration government, and he who is accused of corruption cannot be a member of the anti-corruption government,” Ovcacek said.


For these and also other reasons, the president recommended that Miroslav Poche should not seek the post of foreign minister and thereby enable the birth of a stable government enjoying the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies, Ovcacek said.


Hamacek stressed if the two offices were to be headed by him, this would certainly not be a solution for three and a half years.


He said there was the objective of finding a solution that would not destabilise both offices.


“When it comes to my view, it is acceptable that if Zeman refuses to nominate Poche, the chairman of the coalition party which is in charge of the ministry should be entrusted with heading it for a time. This means the Social Democrats and me,” Hamacek said.


This would allow to proceed to the appointment of the government and the vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies, suggested for July 11, he added.


On Tuesday, most chairpersons of Social Democrat regional organisations said the CSSD should insist on Poche’ nomination. However, the Social Democrat first deputy chairman, Jiri Zimola, holds a different view.


“I am convinced that it is a task of the CSSD board to respect the results of the referendum [which decided on the party entering the government along with ANO] and to finish the process of the constitution of the coalition government,” Zimola said.


“One name in the process should not be any unsurmountable barrier,” ZHimola said.


Zeman told the paper Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today he would agree with the post of foreign minister being vacant temporarily, while the office would be headed by Hamacek.


Poche said he had been taken by surprise by Ovcacek’s “sharp” statements. Ovcacek wrote that Poche was accused of corruption.


“During the meeting, not a single word was said about this,” Poche said.


“In a normal democratic country, I would be ready to defend myself legally. I will not do so because I do not want to provoke another dispute with anyone from Zeman’s people,” he added.