Little-known official Jan Fischer in frame to lead interim government to early elections

Jan Fischer, photo: CTK

Less than two weeks after the Czech government lost a no-confidence vote, the three parties in the outgoing coalition and the opposition Social Democrats announced on Sunday evening that they had reached agreement on a new interim prime minister to lead the country until early elections. His name is Jan Fischer, and if you’ve never heard of him, don’t worry, the vast majority of Czechs haven’t either.

Jan Fischer,  photo: CTK
Jan Fischer has for some years been the head of the Czech Statistical Office, the body that produces official data on everything from the economy to the environment. There has been a lot talk of a “government of experts”, and Mr Fischer, who is 58, very much fits that bill. He is said to be a quiet man, with good language skills.

Under the plan hammered out by the four parties, Jan Fischer would take over as prime minister by the second week in May and lead the government until early elections to be held on October 9 and 10. Apparently the 15 posts in his interim cabinet have already been divided up between the coalition and the Social Democrats.

The plan is still being described as provisional, with individual parties set to approve it before Tuesday. One potential stumbling block has been cleared, with President Václav Klaus, who would appoint any caretaker government, saying on Monday that he was in principle satisfied with the agreement.