Czech Police Investigate Ailing President’s Aide
Czech police are investigating allegations that a senior aide to President Milos Zeman committed a crime by concealing the 77-year-old’s worsening health.
Earlier this week, the speaker of the Senate, Milos Vystrcil, received a doctors report that Zeman was unable to perform his duties and unlikely to be able to do so soon.
Zeman was hospitalized Oct. 10, the day after opposition candidates ousted Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s party and won most of the seats in the lower house of the Czech Parliament.
As president, Zeman must choose who forms the next government.
Lawmakers accuse Zeman’s chief of staff, Vratislav Mynar, of knowing Zeman’s condition and failing to update Czech officials or the public and possibly forging the president’s signature on documents.
Following these revelations, the country’s national law enforcement agency announced Tuesday in a Twitter post that authorities will look into “crimes against the republic.”
Hours before he was hospitalized, Zeman met with Andrej Babis, an ally and the central European country’s prime minister, whose party was defeated in legislative elections last week.
A liberal-conservative, three-party coalition known as Together, alongside an allied coalition, outpaced Babis’ populist ANO (YES) party to claim a majority of the seats in parliament’s lower house.
With no indication that Zeman will return to health quickly, Babis and the speakers of both houses of Parliament are considering how to proceed. Senators met Tuesday with new party leaders to discuss transferring Zeman’s executive powers to Babis and the two house leaders, Radek Vondracek, speaker of the lower house, and Vystrcil.
The coalition agreed to consider removing the president in the first meeting of the lower chamber on November 8, according to The Washington Post has pledged he will not try to remain in power after losing the election.
The winning coalition, together with the friendly liberal coalition, claimed 108 seats in the recent election. Their power-sharing deal will replace ANO as the majority party in parliament’s lower house.
It will be up to the new house to pick a new speaker, who may help pick up Zeman’s mantle if the Czech president remains too sick to lead.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.