President Miloš Zeman has announced he would appoint Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka prime minister next Friday. At a press briefing in Prague the president said Mr. Sobotka had fulfilled the task set, which was to put together a government which would have a stable majority in the lower house. As regards the appointment of the new government, Mr. Zeman said he believed this could take place by the end of January on condition that the lower house approved the draft civil service law in its first reading. This particular condition was given in view of the fact that the nominee for finance minister in the new government, ANO leader Andrej Babiš, has been unable to produce a clean screening certificate proving that he did not actively collaborate with the communist secret service. The new civil service law which is expected to replace the screening law would not address the issue.
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