The President backs down after meeting with Fiala

Photo: Michaela Říhová, ČTK

President Miloš Zeman will appoint a new government on Friday, December 17, as proposed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS). The future Prime Minister announced this after a meeting with the president in Lány on Monday. Zeman initially refused to appoint Jan Lipavský (Pirates) as head of the Foreign Ministry, but in the end, they relented.

“In the best interests of the Czech Republic, the government will be appointed entirely according to my proposal. The president has realized that litigation before the Constitutional Court would only complicate the situation and has therefore decided to take this step, which I appreciate,” Fiala added.

Other representatives of the future government also welcome the president’s decision. “It is important that we stand our ground and we appreciate the reasonable approach from all the parties,” STAN head Vít Rakušan commented on the outcome of the meeting between Fiala and Zeman.

“I am glad that there will not be a dispute between the president and the prime minister,” said TOP 09 chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová. “Given the ongoing epidemic crisis, “I consider this to be a step in the right path,” commented Marian Jurečka, chair of the People’s Party, on the unexpected outcome.

Outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš also welcomed Zeman’s decision. “I am thrilled that President Zeman and Prime Minister Fiala have consented to the appointment of the new government on Friday,” Babiš stated.

Jiří Ovčáček, the spokesman for the Castle, confirmed that President Zeman would appoint the future government in Lány on Friday. Only the ministerial candidate for the Agriculture Ministry, Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL), who is currently undergoing treatment for Covid and is therefore in isolation, will have to wait for the official appointment with the president. Until he recovers, the leader of the People’s Party and upcoming Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Marian Jurečka, will head the Agriculture Ministry in his place.

According to a statement by chancellor Vratislav Mynář last week, Zeman intends to meet Nekula at the beginning of January and appoint him to the post on the same day.