Czech Republic President Appoints Economic Advisor Jiri Rusnok As New Prime Minister Amid Opposition From Rival Parties

on June 26 2013 10:30 AM
Zeman And Rusnok
Jiri Rusnok toasts with Czech President Milos Zeman, left, after he was appointed as new prime minister at Prague Castle Wednesday. Reuters/Petr Josek

Czech Republic President Milos Zeman appointed his economic advisor as his new prime minister in Prague on Tuesday. Jiri Rusnok will replace outgoing Petr Necas, who resigned the previous week after becoming embroiled in a bribery and spying scandal.

Center-right coalition rivals of leftist Zeman warned that Rusnok would not survive a parliamentary vote of confidence.

Rusnok, 52, was finance minister in Zeman's leftist government in 2001-2002 and became his economic advisor after his landslide election as president in January. Rusnok said he aimed to form a new cabinet within two weeks. Zeman said that the main task for Rusnok, an economist who presently heads a Czech pension fund, would be to prepare the 2014 budget for the country struggling to emerge from 18 months of recession.

The next regularly scheduled general vote is in May 2014.

The opposition parties -- center-left Social Democrats and far-left Communists -- want an early election but will need 120 votes, including some from members of the outgoing coalition.

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