PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka nominated Jiri Havlicek as the next industry minister, he said on Thursday after submitting the pick to the president.


Sobotka sacked Jan Mladek in February for a lack of action to bring down telecom service prices for consumers, which has become a political issue ahead of an October parliamentary election.


Jiri Havlicek, 40, a trained economist, has served as a deputy minister responsible for budget, legislative and Czech-Chinese business relations since February 2014.


He will meet President Milos Zeman before being officially appointed, Sobotka said.


Sobotka leads the Social Democratic party, which are polling a distant second behind the ANO movement, led by billionaire Finance Minister Andrej Babis.

Network operators O2 Czech Republic, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and Vodafone have faced growing criticism by politicians who say Czechs pay some of the highest prices for mobile telecom services in Europe.

Political parties plan to fast-track legislation before the election with the aim of bringing prices down by giving more powers to the telecoms regulator and strengthening consumers' rights.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Jason Hovet)