The Central Military Hospital (ÚVN) has announced that President Miloš Zeman is unable to perform any working duties due to health reasons, Senate head Miloš Vystrčil (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) informed journalists this afternoon. On Tuesday, the Senate board will hold a meeting to discuss with party leaders the actions to be taken to transfer the powers from Zeman during his incapacity, Vystrčil said. He further commented that the long-term prognosis of Zeman’s health, given the nature of his underlying illness, is highly unclear. It seems very unlikely that President Zeman will return to his duties in the coming weeks.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) was surprised negatively by the president’s health condition update but declared ready to discuss the next steps that must be taken. “Of course, it is surprising information, and it is certainly bad news. The question is whether this is a permanent state of affairs or whether there is some chance for improvement. I can’t judge that, ” Babiš said. The president’s health situation will now lead to his powers to other top constitutional officials during his indisposition.
Even before he heard the hospital’s information about Zeman’s current condition and prognosis, Babiš repeated that the president wanted to give him two chances to form a government as the chairman of the strongest party in parliament.
Babiš announced that he would not take up the offer and is heading to the opposition with ANO. Zeman had an idea that ANO could form a majority government with ODS, which would have 106 votes in the lower house, or with STAN, which would have a majority of 105 votes, Babiš said. “He assumed that the ANO movement had the potential for a coalition. He thought there was a chance to negotiate a government, but it turned out to be zero, ” the outgoing Prime minister said.