Jakub Kulhánek Appointed New Czech Foreign Minister
Kulhánek, nominated by ČSSD, has been accepted as the new Foreign Minister, as confirmed in a tweet by President Zeman’s spokesman, and will be sworn in next Wednesday at Prague Castle. Kulhánek accepted the post after the current Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek (ČSSD) declined the position. Photo Credit: President’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček via Twitter.
Czech Rep., Apr 16 (BD) – Jakub Kulhánek, nominated by the Social Democrats (ČSSD) for the position of the Czech Foreign Minister, has been accepted by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and President Miloš Zeman. Kulhánek will become the new head of Czech foreign policy after the current Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek (ČSSD) declined the position. Kulhánek is a long-term ally of the ČSSD leadership.
“President Miloš Zeman will appoint Jakub Kulhánek to the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs at Prague Castle on Wednesday, April 21st at 2pm,” tweeted Jiří Ovčáček, President Zeman’s spokesman. Babiš also approved the appointment at a meeting with Presidential Chancellor Vratislav Mynář. At a meeting with the incoming minister yesterday, Babiš told Kulhánek not to deal with COVID-19 vaccines at all. Babiš emphasized that he considered Kulhánek a good candidate. “We historically have had good cooperation,” he said.
Kulhánek will replace the previous Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD), who was removed by the Interior Minister Jan Hamáček after Hamáček won the ČSSD leadership election last week. Since then Hamáček has been the acting Foreign Minister. Babiš commented that Petříček had overstepped the responsibilities of his position. “He was involved in vaccines, it was not his business at all,” said Babiš, adding that vaccines are the responsibility of the Minister of Health.
Kulhánek is a long-term ally of the ČSSD leadership; he was an adviser to former Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and is now one of Hamáček’s closest associates. Since mid-July 2018, he has been Hamáček’s deputy at the Ministry of the Interior, and before that was his parliamentary adviser when Hamáček chaired the Chamber of Deputies. He has also held positions at the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs.