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Zeman may attempt to block Pirate Party leader’s appointment as foreign minister

| 2021-11-22 < 1 min read

Zeman may attempt to block Pirate Party leader’s appointment as foreign minister

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The formation of a new governing coalition in Czechia could be set to stall after President Milos Zeman reportedly threatened to veto Pirate Party member Jan Lipavsky’s appointment as foreign minister.

Last week prime minister-elect Petr Fiala met Zeman to discuss the formation of a new governing coalition of the party alliances, the conservative Together/SPOLU (Civic Democrats, Christian Democrats and TOP09) and the centre-left Pirates/ STAN (Mayors and Independents). 

After the meeting Zeman said: “I suspect that several proposed ministers do not understand their ministry as they have zero experience. I will be tolerant and probably only veto one nominee – this is nothing personal, as I have never met this individual,” Czechia’s pro-China head of state added.

Zeman’s comments were widely interpreted as referring to Lipavsky, who has called for a recalibration of Czech relations with China and questioned the relocation of Czechia’s Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a policy close to the president’s heart. Zeman warned: “I will advise Petr Fiala to cover this ministry himself or to entrust another government member, so as not to slow down the whole government.”

In addition to Lipavsky, the Pirates have nominated party leader Ivan Bartos as regional development minister and deputy prime minister for digital affairs and Michal Salomoun as government legislative council minister. Bartos said: “We have clear plans for the ministries given to us and we will continue to (ensure) that the agreed agenda points are kept.” The swearing-in of the new government is scheduled for Friday, approaching two months since the coalition toppled the outgoing prime minister Andrej Babis.