Zeman to appoint new Czech government, including disputed left-wing foreign minister candidate

The new Czech Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, talks with President Miloš Zeman about his objections concerning one of the ministerial candidates. (Jiří Ovčáček/Twitter)
By Lucie Ctverakova
3 Min Read

On Friday, President Miloš Zeman will appoint the government of incoming Prime Minister Petr Fiala, including the disputed nominee for foreign minister, Jan Lipavský.

Fiala announced he would get all his nominees on Monday at a press conference after meeting with the president. However, according to Fiala, the president’s reservations about Lipavský persist.

The new cabinet will be appointed on Friday, Dec. 17, at 11:00 a.m. at the Lány chateau, the residence of the president. The incoming government wants the confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies to take place in mid-January when it finishes its program statement.

Last Friday, Zeman confirmed that he did not want to appoint Lipavský as the country’s foreign minister, citing his insufficient qualification and reserved stance towards Israel and the Visegrád Four. Lipavský and the head of state also share different views on relations with Russia and China, which Zeman did not mention in an official statement as the reason for his objections. The government coalition planned to fill in a competence lawsuit against the president over the dispute. Fiala called Zeman’s change of mind a “surprising end of the hour-long meeting.”

“The government, including candidate Lipavský, will be appointed this Friday as proposed to the president. I would like to commend the president’s move. He insists on all his objections but does not want to burden the new government with a difficult constitutional dispute,” said Fiala.

According to him, the discussion with the president was very open and sometimes tough.

“But this is a way of communication that I don’t mind if it leads to a good solution for the Czech Republic. We managed to reach a solution today,” added Fiala.

He also shared that he discussed the planned lawsuit and “what it would mean” with Zeman.

On Twitter, Lipavský appreciated the result of the meeting between Fiala and Zeman.

“I welcome the fact that the government will be appointed in full, including myself, as proposed by the prime minister. The incoming government has a lot of work to do for the citizens of this country,” he wrote.

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