Czech President appoints centre-left leader Sobotka PM.

By bne IntelliNews January 20, 2014

Czech President Milos Zeman appointed on January 17 elections winner Social Democrats’ leader Bohuslav Sobotka as the country’s Prime Minister ending a seven-month power gap and clearing the way for the formation of the country’s first centre-left government in eight years, Radio Prague reported.

Now Sobotka must convince Zeman to approve his list of ministers and although the President has criticised some of the candidate ministers he said that he expects the government to be appointed by the end of January.

CSSD, which narrowly won the October early elections, formed a coalition pact with centrist ANO and Christian-Democrats. The coalition commands a 111-seat majority in the 200-member parliament. If appointed by Zeman, the new government will end a political stalemate that has crippled policy making since June when the former centre-right government collapsed amid a bribery and spying scandal.

The three-party government has pledged to revive the economy that emerged from a record-long recession in mid-2013, support the creation of new jobs and improve the functioning of the state. The cabinet plans to raise pensions and the minimum wage, boost public spending but at the same time keep the budget deficit below the EU’s limit of 3% of economic output. Sobotka favours a more closer EU integration but has said that his government will most likely not set a target date for adopting the euro during its term through 2017.

The economic recovery will also be helped by the central bank’s pledge to continue intervening on the currency market to keep the koruna week in a bid to ward off deflation threat, a measure that also makes Czech exports more competitive abroad.

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