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Outgoing cabinet and opposition agree on new PM

6. 4. 2009 16:05
Jan Fischer to become the new head of the country on May 9

Infobox

Ruling coalition's posts in the new government:
Defence, Justice, Environment, Finance, Transport, Education, Culture and Health.
Human rights issues will be taken primarily over by the PM but a special deputy for HRs and minorities will be appointed.

Social Democrats:
Foreign Affairs, Industry and Trade, Interior Affairs, Agriculture, European Affairs, Local Development, Labour and Social Affairs.

Prague - Czech MPs agreed to appoint Jan Fischer, head of the Czech Statistical Office (CSO), the new Prime Minister until early elections.

Following Sunday's evening negotiations between the outgoing ruling coalition (Civic Democrats, Greens and Christian Democrats) and the opposition Social Democrats, PM Mirek Topolánek made the announcement Sunday evening.

"He is a widely respected person and we had no problem to agree on him," PM Topolánek said about Jan Fischer.

Fischer, who is of no political allegiance, is expected to form a new cabinet that will head the country from May 9 until the snap elections that should take place by mid-October.

The preliminary deal is yet to be approved by the coalition and the opposition ČSSD and then by President Klaus.  

Topolánek's government lost a no-confidence vote last month midway through the Czech EU Presidency.

Non-partisans in power

The new government will consist of non-partisan technocrats that will be proposed by the ruling coalition and the Social Democrats (ČSSD).

"This cabinet of technocrats will not have any special tasks," Topolánek said. "Its main tasks will be to finish the Czech EU Presidency, prepare the 2010 budget and take steps related to common administration."

The 58-year old economist told Aktuálně.cz that he is ready to accept the offer under two conditions. The first one is that all agree on his appointment and that he could go back to his work after the early elections.

"After the five or six month "service", as I call it, I want to return back to my work. I have plenty of work that I would like to finish," Fischer told Aktuálně.cz. He also alleged that he had received the offer on Friday but took some time to consider it.

The early elections are likely to take place October 9 and 10.

Despite being officially a non-partisan, Karel Schwarzenberg who represents the Green Party in the government will not stay in his post.

Who is Jan Fischer?

Jan Fischer was born in 1951 in Prague. He was a member of Czechoslovakia's Communist Party between 1980-1989.

In 1993 he became a deputy of the Czech Statistical Office and since mid-1990s he has headed teams that were in charge of local council and parliamentary elections.

He was appointed the CSO head by president Václav Klaus in 2003. He is a member of the Czech Statistical Society and International Statistical Institute.

He has been on "good terms" with president Václav Klaus, as said by the president himself.

autor: Naďa Straková | 6. 4. 2009 16:05

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