Dienstbier says Zeman attack off track

Social Democrat ministerial nominees have hit back at president Miloš Zeman’s attacks on their suitability for office. Jiří Dienstbier, earmarked to be the minister for human rights, said that the head of state was totally off track when he suggested that he would not be able to fulfill his functions because he had been selected to head the party’s campaign for upcoming European Parliament elections and would be campaigning from February onwards. The party is seeking someone else to head the campaign after he was offered the Cabinet post, Dienstbier said.

The head of state announced Friday that he would name Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka prime minister on January 17 but that the Cabinet’s formation was not likely till the end of the month. Zeman suggested Sobotka cast around for other ministerial candidates and warned that he was not obliged to automatically accept nominations for ministers.

Author: Chris Johnstone