STAN Confirm Nominations of Bek and Dvorak as Education, Justice Ministers

Bek is set to become the third education minister in the current government of Petr Fiala. Photo credit: Mikuláš Bek, via Facebook.

Prague, April 25 (CTK) – The Mayors and Independents (STAN) will nominate Minister for European Affairs Mikulas Bek to replace Vladimir Balas as Education Minister and Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Dvorak (all STAN) as new Minister for European Affairs, as confirmed in a press release yesterday.

The party’s national committee confirmed the nomination at an online meeting yesterday.

Balas announced his resignation for health reasons last week.

Bek is set to become the third education minister in the current government of Petr Fiala (ODS). Balas assumed the post last July, replacing Petr Gazdik (STAN), who resigned over his contacts with Michal Redl, a businessman implicated in the Dosimeter corruption case at the Prague Public Transport Company.

Balas asked to be relieved of his post due to long-term health problems after suffering from COVID-19. He will remain as an MP.

Bek, 59, is also a Senator and used to be the rector of Brno’s Masaryk University. Dvorak (66) is the former mayor of Hradec Kralove, and was also the general consul in New York and ambassador to Kuwait.

Last week, Fiala said he would make further steps after receiving the nominations from STAN leader Vit Rakusan. The Czech president names the government members based on the proposal of the prime minister. President Petr Pavel will meet Fiala to discuss the changes in the cabinet on 2 May.

Rakusan said he appreciated that under Balas’s leadership, the Education Ministry had handled the refugee wave from Ukraine, tabled a bill guaranteeing the salary for teachers of about 130% of the average gross pay in Czech Republic, and also managed to secure funds to increase the salaries of non-teaching staff. He also thanked him for having pushed forward much needed reform of the Czech education system.

Bek said his priorities would include accessibility of elementary and secondary schools.

Dvorak said he wanted to build on Bek’s work as European Affairs Minister. “The success of the Czech (EU) presidency is a huge credit to Mikulas Bek, among others, who with his team proved that the Czech Republic can be heard in the EU,” Dvorak said.

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