On October 9, Prime Minister Andrej Babis narrowly lost the election to the center-right Spolo (“Together”) coalition. A day later, President Zeman was taken to the intensive care unit. The Czech president performs a largely ceremonial function, but after the elections he appoints the politician who can form a government and convene the new parliament. So the transition to a new government seriously hampers Zeeman’s disease.
Zeman is not known for his healthy lifestyle, and according to Czech media, he suffers from diabetes and complications of cirrhosis of the liver, in particular “hepatic encephalopathy”. Toxins enter the brain because the liver can no longer remove them. Zeeman will be confused by this. According to the President of the Czech Senate, this was reported to Zeman’s private secretary Vratislav Minar on October 13.
However, the next day, Minar organized a meeting between the Speaker of the Czech House of Representatives, Radek Vondrasek and Zeman, who was still in intensive care. The head of the council returned with a decree signed by Zeman, who ordered the council to be convened in early November.
Czech police are now investigating whether Minar and his comrades committed a crime by concealing the seriousness of Zeman’s health. It is also being investigated whether the signature under the presidential decree was a forgery, something Chamber President Vondrak vehemently denies.
Radio Prague International talks about “a smoke screen reminiscent of the communist era”. At the time, “flu” or “cold” was often referred to when an important leader did not appear in public for a long time.
Incumbent Prime Minister Babis has said he will join the opposition, paving the way for a government led by the centre-right Spolo coalition. If Zeman does not recover, presidential elections will follow. Babis is mentioned as a competitor.
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