Rusnok government sworn in
The country’s new caretaker cabinet was sworn in at Prague Castle on Wednesday, two weeks after economist Jiří Rusnok was named to head it. As the new prime minister had pledged, 14 days was all it took to put together a government from scratch. Now it will face its first test – winning a confidence vote in the lower house.
The process is now complete: on Wednesday the new government – with 15 members – was sworn in. At the ceremony, the new ministers received congratulations from President Zeman who didn’t mince words, giving the following recommendation:
“Don’t let criticism from the media or envious idiots who have themselves never amounted to anything deter you from your job. Try and ensure that you are successful in the task ahead.”
Political analyst Jan Bureš:
“In my opinion the president did not outline the most pressing issue, but it is something we will hear more about in the coming months. It is interesting that the president’s speech focussed on the fight against corruption and cast him as the last defence. At the same time, he didn’t say how long he felt the caretaker government would remain in power.”
As it stands, that remains the big unanswered question: as of Wednesday Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok has 30 days to ask for a confidence vote and it is far from clear the technocrat government will get enough support. Two weeks ago, opposition from most of the parties in the lower house was clear cut, and failure seemed all but a certainty. Now, the toughest opposition, some sources suggest, may have crumbled somewhat as parties on both sides of the political spectrum weigh the pros and cons of leaving the technocrat government in power.