Shady games over Czech president’s health

“According to the opinion of Central Military Hospital, President Miloš Zeman is currently not able to fulfil any work duties due to health reasons,” Vystrčil said during a press briefing, adding that the chance of the president's recovery in upcoming weeks is highly uncertain. [EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK]

After several days of uncertainty, the Czech public finally learnt the truth about the health of Czech President Miloš Zeman. Czech Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrčil informed that Zeman is not able to fulfil his presidential duties, quoting from a statement of the Central Military Hospital where Zeman has been hospitalised since 10 October.

“According to the opinion of Central Military Hospital, President Miloš Zeman is currently not able to fulfil any work duties due to health reasons,” Vystrčil said during a press briefing, adding that the chance of the president’s recovery in upcoming weeks is highly uncertain.

Another worrying statement of the Central Military Hospital concerns officials from the Czech President’s office. Head of office, Vratislav Mynář, who is currently facing prosecution for alleged subsidy fraud, was apparently aware of the President’s incapacity since 13 October but refused to inform the public. Moreover, Mynář allowed Zeman on 14 October to sign a document convening the next Czech Parliament stemming from the recent elections.

Constitutional lawyer Jan Kysela stated that Mynář’s behaviour is indefensible and “resembles oriental despotism”.

The Czech Senate will meet on Tuesday to discuss further steps, including potentially triggering Article 66 of the Czech Constitution. Such a move would transfer the president’s powers to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and speakers of both chambers of the Czech parliament.

“It is surprising information,” Babiš said in reaction to Vystrčil’s statement.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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