Czech president too sick to work, powers to be given to Prime Minister Babiš – POLITICO
PRAGUE – Doctors treating Czech President Miloš Zeman say he is physically unable to perform his official duties and unable to appoint a new prime minister, Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrčil told reporters on Monday.
As a result, the Senate is working to transfer constitutional powers from Zeman to the current Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Radek Vondráček, a member of the ANO movement in Babiš.
This decision complicates the transfer of power expected following the recent Czech parliamentary elections on 8 and 9 October, which saw the tripartite coalition Ensemble defeat the ANO. A day after the election, Zeman was rushed to hospital and the process of forming a new government has since been in limbo, largely because neither the hospital nor Zeman’s staff had provided any information about its condition.
But on Monday, the head of the Prague Central Military Hospital, Miroslav Zavoral, sent a message to Vystrčil detailing Zeman’s condition.
The president’s illness was not named, but local media, citing anonymous sources, reported that he suffered from hepatic encephalopathy, a disorder of the nervous system caused by chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis.
If the president’s constitutional powers are transferred to Babiš, he is expected to ask the leader of the Ensemble coalition, Petr Fiala, to lead the new government when parliament meets again on November 8.
Babiš has repeatedly stated that he will not try to form a new government and is preparing to become a member of the opposition.
Fiala is negotiating with the Czech Pirates / STAN coalition to form a five-party coalition government that will have a comfortable majority in the Chamber of Deputies.