Czech President Milos Zeman was receiving treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) yesterday, creating uncertainty at a time when he is due to lead political talks about forming a new government after a parliamentary election.
Director Miroslav Zavoral of the Central Military Hospital in Prague said Zeman, 77, was admitted due to complications related to an undisclosed chronic condition.
“We know the diagnosis precisely, which allows us to target treatment,” Zavoral said, adding that he did not have the president’s approval to disclose details of the diagnosis.
Zeman was previously admitted on Sept. 14 for what his office described later as a planned examination.
It said computed tomography scans, sonography checks and blood tests carried out by doctors did not reveal any problems or disease that would threaten his life.
The office said the president was only dehydrated and slightly exhausted.
Zeman is a heavy smoker with a soft spot for a drink who has suffered from diabetes and neuropathy linked to it. He has trouble walking and has been using a wheelchair.
The Czech presidency is a largely ceremonial post, but the president has the right to choose the country’s new prime minister.
Earlier yesterday, Zeman met in Lany with his close ally, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
Babis made no comment when he was leaving the chateau.
On Saturday, the centrist ANO movement led by Babis, a populist billionaire, narrowly lost the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election in a surprise development that could mean the end of the euroskeptic leader’s reign.
Together, a liberal-conservative three-party coalition, captured 27.8 percent of the vote, beating Babis’ ANO, which won 27.1 percent.
In a second blow to the populists, another center-left liberal coalition received 15.6 percent of the vote to finish third.
The winning coalition won 71 seats, while its partner captured 37 seats to have a comfortable majority of 108 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament.
Babis won 72 seats, six fewer than in the 2017 election.
Further weakening the country’s populists, the anti-migrant and anti-Muslim force in the Czech Republic, the Freedom and Direct Democracy party, which wants the country to leave the EU, finished fourth with 9.6 percent support, or 20 seats, less than the 22 seats it won in 2017.
The coalitions immediately announced they signed a memorandum about their will to rule together.
However, Zeman said he would fist appoint the leader of the strongest party, not the coalition, to try to form the government.
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