Prime Minister Petr Nečas has asked the president to appoint army general Vlastimil Picek defense minister. Mr. Nečas said that the general’s extensive experience in the field made him an ideal candidate for the position. The post of defense minister has been vacant since last December when the prime minister sacked LIDEM leader Karolina Peake from the post after just eight days in office. She was dismissed for making extensive personnel changes, which included sacking general Picek from the post of deputy defense minister on the grounds that she wanted civilians only in the ministry’s top posts. President Zeman said earlier that he considered Vlastimil Picek an excellent choice for defense minister.