- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Agriculture Minister Zdenek Nekula Resigns Amid Lack of Support from KDU-CSL Leadership
In a surprising turn of events, Agriculture Minister Zdenek Nekula (KDU-CSL) has announced his resignation, citing a lack of support from the party’s leadership. Nekula tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Petr Fiala and expressed his decision to step down by the end of June. The KDU-CSL, in response, has nominated Marek Vyborny, the deputy group head, as a potential replacement for the vacant ministerial post.
Nekula’s resignation comes after weeks of feeling unsupported by the KDU-CSL leadership. He emphasized that, despite facing unpopular decisions, his focus was on securing a positive future for the Czech countryside. However, without the necessary backing from the party, he found it increasingly difficult to fulfill his responsibilities effectively.
KDU-CSL leader Marian Jurecka has confirmed the party’s nomination of Marek Vyborny for the role of agriculture minister. The nomination awaits confirmation from the party’s broader leadership. Jurecka has already discussed the matter with Prime Minister Fiala, urging him to consult President Petr Pavel to facilitate Vyborny’s appointment by July 1st. Vyborny has expressed his willingness to assume the position.
Prime Minister Fiala has acknowledged the KDU-CSL’s right to propose a new candidate and has shown his respect for the party’s decision. He believes that Vyborny, with his extensive political experience and moral credibility, will be a valuable addition to the cabinet. Fiala stressed the importance of the new minister’s efforts in reducing inflation by making food more affordable for the population.
Marek Vyborny, the former KDU-CSL leader and current chair of the KDU-CSL parliamentary group, enjoys widespread respect among his peers. Jurecka noted that Vyborny’s experience and reputation make him well-suited to serve as agriculture minister until the end of the government’s term in 2025. The decision regarding Vyborny’s successor as the leader of the parliamentary group will be made by the party’s MPs.
Nekula’s tenure as agriculture minister since January 2022 has been marked by efforts to reform farming subsidies, despite some exemptions that weakened their impact. Environmentalists have praised Nekula’s ministry for initiating cooperation with the Environment Ministry but emphasize the need for further enhancement. They advocate for an agriculture sector that aligns with environmental protection, recognizing that long-term sustainability can only be achieved through a harmonious relationship with nature.
With the resignation of Nekula, the KDU-CSL sees its second ministerial departure from the current cabinet, following Anna Hubackova’s resignation as environment minister last year due to health reasons. Petr Hladik replaced Hubackova this spring. Of the original three KDU-CSL ministers in the 18-seat cabinet, only Jurecka remains in office.
As the transition takes place, the focus now turns to Marek Vyborny and his ability to lead the agriculture sector effectively. With the support of the KDU-CSL and the government, it is hoped that he will bring fresh perspectives and initiatives to address the challenges facing Czech agriculture while ensuring sustainable practices and affordable food prices for the nation’s citizens.
Article by Prague Forum