Czech PM Babiš to Propose New Cultural Minister Candidate

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Tuesday that he would withdraw the nomination of Michal Smarda and propose a new Cultural Minister to President Milos Zeman immediately after the coalition Social Democratic Party has the new name, according to local media reports.

Zeman previously said Smarda is not competent for the post of cultural minister. On Monday, Smarda decided to give up the nomination.

Babiš said he had asked President Zeman to quickly solve the problem concerning the nomination of Culture Minister so that the cabinet could be complete and functional.

Communication preceding the proposal of the new candidate must be better than it was in the case of Smarda, Babiš added.

The dispute over the replacement of the Culture Minister has been lasting for more than three months in the country.

In April, former cultural minister Antonin Stanek dismissed National Gallery head Jiri Fajt and Olomouc Art Museum head Michal Soukup, triggering criticism from cultural fields. In May, Babis proposed that Stanek be dismissed and Smarda as his successor.

Zeman was reluctant to dismiss Stanek at first but eventually did so at the end of July without accepting the nomination of Smarda.

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