New Czech government takes office
A new coalition government took office in the Czech Republic. President Milos Zeman appointed the ministers in the cabinet led by Petr Fiala at the presidential residence in Lany, west of Prague, on Friday.
The new five-party government has 18 members, three more than the previous cabinet. Women are at the helm of three ministries.
Immediately after their appointment, 16 government ministers took the oath, as prescribed by the constitution. As agriculture minister candidate Zdenek Nekula, who is currently self-isolating, was absent from the official ceremony, his appointment is expected to take place next week.
“We want to be a government whose work is predictable and responsible,” Petr Fiala pledged after his appointment. The ministers will officially take over leadership at their ministries on Friday and Saturday.
Milos Zeman impressed on the members of the new cabinet that they would not have much time to comfortably assume power as three serious problems require immediate solutions. These three are the coronavirus pandemic, the energy crisis and the adoption of next year’s budget, the president pointed out.
In the five-party ruling coalition, the prime minister and five ministers are from the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), with the Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU-CSL), the TOP 09 party and the Mayors and Independents party (STAN) landing three, two and four ministers respectively. The Czech Pirate Party is also represented in the government by three ministers.
The Finance Ministry will be headed by Zbynek Stanjura (ODS), the Interior Ministry by Vit Rakusan (STAN). Jan Lipavsky (Pirate Party) will serve as foreign minister, with Jana Cernochova (ODS) assuming the post of defence minister.