Czech President Rejects CSSD Nominee For Culture Minister Amid Coalition Tensions

Czech President Rejects CSSD Nominee for Culture Minister Amid Coalition Tensions

PRAGUE (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th August, 2019) Czech President Milos Zeman rejected on Wednesday the Social Democratic Party's (CSSD) nominee, Michal Smarda, for culture minister in a move that threatens to escalate tensions within the ruling coalition, the presidential spokesman, said.

On July 30, Zeman dismissed Antonin Stanek from the position, following a request made in May by Prime Minister Andrej Babis and CSSD, who claimed that Stanek was ineffective. The CSSD suggested Smarda for the post, saying his appointment was a condition for the junior coalition partner to stay in the government.

"Czech President Milos Zeman said that Michal Smarda has never been involved in the country's culture-related matters, which is why he cannot be considered a professionally competent candidate to the post of culture minister," Jiri Ovcacek posted on Facebook.

The spokesman added that Zeman asked the leader of CSSD, Jan Hamacek, to suggest a more qualified candidate for the post.

According to the Czech constitution, the president must comply with the prime minister's requests for cabinet appointments and dismissals. However, Zeman first hesitated with Stanek's dismissal and has now rejected Smarda, which could possibly increase tensions in the Czech government and cause CSSD to leave the coalition, triggering snap elections.

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