Saturday, 16 December 2017

President Zeman accepts resignation of Sobotka's outgoing gov't

ČTK |
6 December 2017

Prague, Dec 5 (CTK) - Czech President Milos Zeman on Tuesday accepted the resignation of the outgoing centre-left government of Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) and entrusted it with ruling the country until the appointment of the next government planned for December 13, the Presidential Office has announced.

The outgoing cabinet of the CSSD, the ANO movement and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) approved its resignation on November 29, following the end of the constituent session of the lower house of parliament in its new lineup that started one month after the general election clearly won by ANO.

Zeman announced on the same day that he would accept the resignation on December 5.

Five ANO ministers from the outgoing cabinet will continue in their posts.

Zeman plans to appoint ANO leader Andrej Babis prime minister on Wednesday, December 6, and his minority cabinet a week later, on December 13. Zeman wants to meet the nine newcomers in the 15-member team of Babis by then.

Babis's future government is to officially meet for the first time immediately after its appointment next week. The cabinet members already met in ANO's headquarters on Monday.

The outgoing government has been dealing only with urgent matters and European affairs since the October general election. Its last meeting is to be held on Wednesday morning in order to discuss the mandate of new prime minister Babis for a forthcoming EU summit.

Sobotka's cabinet was appointed on January 29, 2014. It is the third government in the history of the independent Czech Republic, since 1993, to complete the whole of its four-year mandate.

Sobotka is the first Czech prime minister who did not hand the resignation to the president personally but in a letter. This is due to the bad relations between Sobotka and Zeman. The tension escalated in May when Sobotka pushed through that Babis, then deputy prime minister and finance minister, must leave the government due to his dubious financial transactions, a suspected EU subsidy fraud and alleged use of the media against his political rivals.

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