Czech PM appointed: Tajikian-American dubbed firebrand

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tomas Ulbrich has temporarily taken over as Prime Minister

Czech President Milos Zeman has appointed a firebrand MP as a temporary prime minister, having previously been the country’s most influential executive.

Tajikian-American Tomas Ulbrich was only appointed after Zeman asked for him to “resign as chairman of a parliamentary faction”.

Mr Ulbrich, 56, insisted on seeing the door and his shoes propped open before he accepted.

He was appointed for a maximum of 15 days.

Mr Ulbrich beat the Communist-linked ministers of the junior centre-left party, the Social Democrats, in the election earlier this month.

Image copyright REUTERS Image caption The unorthodox PM says a firmer EU-wide economic response is needed

Zeman, an avowed eurosceptic and anti-Moscow campaigner, was then reported to have worked with his far-right ally to form a cabinet dominated by the far-right ANO party.

However, Mr Ulbrich and fellow new ministers from ANO played down suggestions that they had breached party discipline with their creation of a ruling coalition.

He said their priority was the economic issues facing the country.

Separately, Slovak daily newspaper Bratislava was reporting that ANO had set aside its plans to consolidate federal tax receipts between Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The Slovak government opposed its plan.

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