Czech election victors ready for government despite ailing president

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Milos Zeman
Milos Zeman

Two liberal-conservative alliances have agreed to form the Czech Republic’s new government, but lack an official mandate to do so due to the country’s hospital-bound president, the CT24 public broadcaster reports.

According to the report, Petr Fiala, head of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), was chosen as a possible head of government some three weeks after the country’s parliamentary elections.

He has set Monday as the date for a ceremonial signing of the coalition agreement.

In the Czech Republic, the president must task someone with forming a government. However, Milos Zeman is currently in hospital.

Zeman could delay the budding coalition further by initially asking acting Prime Minister Andrej Babis to form a government.

Babis lost the elections and does not command a majority to continue his premiership. He will remain in office until Zeman appoints a new government.

Overnight, Fiala said that the presidential office had offered a potential meeting once Zeman is moved from intensive care to a regular ward, according to the CTK news agency.

Details of the hospital-bound president’s health problems have not yet been made public. There have also been discussions about revoking Zeman’s powers if he is found unfit for office.

Late on Tuesday, Fiala and his future coalition partners presented the key points of their agreement to the press. Among other things, they plan to set up a new Ministry for Europe, underscoring their goal of a more EU-friendly course than under Babis.

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