Petr Fiala, chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, which is to lead the new Czech government, spoke on Saturday with President Milosz Zeman by phone. Fiala said that his new cabinet could be established before Christmas.
The conversation did not concern the appointment of individual ministries in the new government. Fiala announced that he would present the list of candidates for ministers to the president during the next meeting, after Prime Minister Andrej Babisz resigns his cabinet. This should take place after the inaugural session of the new Chamber of Deputies, which will start on Monday and will last several days. According to Fiali, the president will want to speak directly with some of the ministerial candidates.
After the conversation, Fiala stated that the new cabinet could be established before Christmas. He also stated that he had started his conversation with Zeman by asking about the president’s health condition and believed that he was fully aware of his tasks and the constitutional steps he had to take in the near future. Zeman has been in the hospital since October 10th.
Will the president agree to the ministry staffing proposal?
According to the Czech constitution, the president appoints the prime minister and the ministers proposed by him. Zeman has twice changed the candidates in Babish’s government. In 2019, he did not want to accept the proposed candidate for the minister of culture. A year earlier, the president’s objection concerned the appointment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Commentators are wondering whether Zeman, sick and not in full strength, will accept all Fiala’s proposals and speculate that the president may oppose Jan Lipavski’s candidacy from the Czech Pirate Party. Unofficially, he is mentioned as the future head of diplomacy. For Zeman, who strongly supports Israeli policy, Lipavski is too pro-Palestinian.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / MARTIN DIVISEK