President appointing new cabinet today

PRESIDENT Ivan Gašparovič wants to appoint the new government of prime minister designate Robert Fico today.

Without any delays, the president yesterday accepted all 16 proposed members of the new coalition cabinet.

The new ministers include: Robert Fico as the new PM; Dušan Čaplovič as deputy PM for EU affairs, human rights, and minorities; Štefan Harabin as deputy PM for legislation and minister of justice; Ján Kubiš as foreign minister; Ján Počiatek as finance minister; František Kašický as defense minister; Robert Kaliňák as interior minister; Ivan Valentovič as health minister; Ľubomír Vážny as transport minister; Viera Tomanová, the only woman in the new cabinet, as labour and social affairs minister; Ľubomír Jahnátek as economy minister; Marek Maďarič as culture minister; Miroslav Jureňa as agriculture minister; Marián Janušek as construction minister; Jaroslav Izák as environment minister; and Ján Mikolaj as education minister.

"After considering all the names I don't have any reason not to agree to such a government," Gašparovič said after meeting with Fico.

According to Fico, the parties of the new coalition - Smer, the far-right SNS and the HZDS - had made professionalism the main criterion in choosing the new ministers.

Fico's Smer party took 11 seats in the new government, while the SNS has three ministers (Mikolaj, Izák, and Janušek) and the HZDS two (Harabin and Jureňa).

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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