President asked Lipavský to withdraw from his ministerial candidacy

Photo: Vít Šimánek, ČTK

President Miloš Zeman has reportedly advised Jan Lipavský to withdraw from his candidacy for Foreign Minister. This was reported on Tuesday by two reliable sources familiar with the negotiations.

“I am the nominee for the position of foreign minister based on the agreement of the coalition, and I also represent the coalition program of the upcoming government,” Lipavský commented. 

He recalled that the constitution clearly states that the president appoints the members of the new government on the proposal of the prime minister. “This is therefore a matter between the President and Prime Minister Fiala,” he pointed out.

The upcoming Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, reiterated on Tuesday afternoon that he will not change the nominees for ministers. He stated this in response to information that President Miloš Zeman had recommended that Foreign Minister candidate Jan Lipavský (Pirates) should withdraw from the candidacy race.

“To avoid various speculations, nothing changes in the nomination of candidates for my government, “ODS chief and appointed PM Petr Fiala insisted.

Ivan Bartoš , the head of the Pirates, is also behind Jan Lipavský . He declared that Lipavský is the nominee for the post of foreign minister in the emerging government and that he fully stands behind his nomination, just like Prime Minister Fiala.

In his opinion, he is a quality and suitable candidate. “However, we honor the agreements between the president and PM Fiala, so we will not comment further on personnel matters until the president meets with all the ministerial candidates, “he added.

Lipavský held talks with Zeman on Tuesday. He diplomatically left questions about the president’s possible reservations unanswered.

Zeman had previously announced that he didn’t agree with the appointment of one of the candidates and would veto the nomination. Neither he nor Fiala have specified who the candidate is, but there has been speculation from the beginning about Jan Lipavský.