Zeman and Babiš seemingly at odds over Poche nomination

24-06-2018 updated

President Miloš Zeman says that the Social Democrats’ nominee for minister of foreign affairs, Miroslav Poche, has not been proposed to him as a cabinet member by the prime designate, Andrej Babiš of ANO. The president said in an interview on Sunday that there had been a blank space by foreign affairs in a list of ministerial candidates he received from Mr. Babiš.

Mr. Zeman is opposed to Mr. Poche heading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accusing him of being soft on migrants.

However, Mr. Babiš said that the information provided to the president had been informal. The ANO leader told reporters he does intend to include Mr. Poche when he officially informs the president about his cabinet nominees on Monday.

The leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, said that if Mr. Babiš failed to nominate Mr. Poche it would represent a breach of the outline coalition agreement between his party and ANO and would make further negotiations pointless.

Mr. Zeman said he would very probably appoint the new government on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Mr. Babiš has said that the prospective two-party minority coalition – which would be supported on key votes by the Communists – could undergo a vote of confidence in the lower house on July 11.