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Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka arrives at the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, October 21, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Vidal


PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Thursday he would be in charge of the Industry Ministry until a new minister is chosen in several weeks.

He needs to find a replacement for Jan Mladek, whom he dismissed on Monday for what he said was a failure to secure competitive prices for mobile phone customers.

Sobotka said he would pick the new minister only after his Social Democratic party's congress on March 9-10.

The dismissal came less than eight months ahead of an election due in October.

President Milos Zeman officially removes and appoints ministers under the constitution, upon a proposal by the prime minister. Sobotka said Zeman accepted his proposal to remove Mladek and to put himself in charge on a temporary basis.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; editing by Jan Lopatka)