Czech president rejects minister nominee in row with government party

FILE PHOTO: Czech President Milos Zeman gestures in Vienna, Austria April 3, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech President Milos Zeman rejected on Wednesday the nominee for culture minister proposed by the junior government partners, the Social Democrats, in a dispute that has threatened Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s coalition.

Zeman’s office said he had rejected nominee Michal Smarda as unqualified. The Social Democrats argue the president has no constitutional authority to reject their nominee, and have threatened to quit the coalition over the issue.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Peter Graff

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