PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech president refused to appoint a candidate for a Cabinet post Wednesday, deepening a political crisis that could cause the country’s coalition government to fall.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis nominated the candidate to replace the culture minister he asked to have removed in May at the request of a partner party in the governing coalition, the Czech Social Democratic Party.
Cabinet changes are generally a routine matter. Under the Czech Constitution, the president is supposed to comply with the prime minister’s appointment requests.
President Milos Zeman initially hesitated but then fired Culture Minister Antonin Stanek at the end of July. But Zeman said Wednesday he didn’t think the person nominated to take Stanek’s place was “competent” for the job.
The proposed replacement, Michal Smarda, is Social Democratic Party deputy chairman. The president said Smarda has no experience with cultural affairs.