Cabinet reshuffle delayed at request of leaders of smaller coalition parties

05-01-2009

Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek of the Civic Democrats has delayed the announcement of a cabinet reshuffle. The leaders of the two smaller parties in the governing coalition, the Christian Democrats and the Greens, called for the postponement, saying they wanted to discuss the proposed changes with their party leaderships next Sunday. The prime minister has not said which ministers will be changed, but there have been reports that Christian Democrats chairman Jiří Čunek could be replaced as minister for regional development. The news website ihned.cz reported that Mr Čunek has asked Mr Topolánek to dismiss Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, a party rival of his.

The reshuffle expected on Monday was promised after poor results for the three parties in the governing coalition in Senate and regional elections in October. The Green Party’s minister for minorities and human rights, Džamila Stehlíková, has said she expects to be among the cabinet members replaced. As well as making changes to his cabinet, the prime minister is creating a new national economic council.