Status: 11.10.2021 01:01 p.m.
The Czech President is in the clinic – and without him the formation of a government cannot begin. Now the country is wondering what will happen if Zeman is incapacitated. A member of the opposition already senses his chance.
What’s next without Milos Zeman? – Not only the tabloid “Blesk” asks that today. The Czech President is needed for the formation of the new government after the parliamentary elections. It’s just that he’s been back in the military hospital since yesterday afternoon. What exactly he has is not disclosed – medical confidentiality and protection of privacy are observed.
His attending physician Miroslav Zavoral announced only this much yesterday: “The reason for his hospital stay are complications that accompany his chronic illness, for which he is being treated by us.” This morning a spokeswoman for the hospital announced that the president was stable.
Speaker emphasizes Zeman’s ability to officiate
Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek hastened to declare that the president was still in office. He was provided with information and followed the media coverage. But Ovcacek is not the most reliable source, to say the least.
A directional decision ultimately depends on Zeman’s ability to act: whether he can commission his political partner Andrej Babis to form a government again. The president had announced that he would appoint the strongest party, even if an opposition alliance has the majority. The strongest party is still the ANO von Babis, even if there is no partner in sight with whom it is enough for a majority capable of governing.
“This allows Zeman to block the government for a few months, for which there is an objective majority,” says political scientist Tomas Lebeda. “And it wouldn’t be the first time. In principle, he doesn’t respect the majority in parliament.”
Fiala wants to forge a coalition of five parties
The absolute majority of the mandates are held by the five parties of the democratic opposition, united in a conservative and a more left-liberal electoral alliance. They want to form a coalition and have therefore asked the President to give the task of forming a government to their top candidate – Petr Fiala, the chairman of the ODS.
He immediately raised the claim of the group of five: “These parties have won the majority of the seats and have therefore declared their will to form the new government of the Czech Republic together,” he said after the election.
Does the President of Parliament have a say?
If Zeman were no longer able to exercise his office, the cards would be reshuffled. Because then his powers would pass to the President of the House of Representatives. He would then also have to award the contract for forming a government.
At the moment Radek Vondracek from the ANO is still President of Parliament. But when the new House of Representatives meets, it is very likely that a candidate from the previous opposition will be elected with the new majorities. Then the way would be free for Fiala.
For him, the work is only just beginning: because bringing the five parties under one roof, who only agree that they want to replace Babis, will be a real show of strength. In comparison, the coalition talks in Berlin appear to be a rather easy exercise.
How sick is the Czech President?
Peter Lange, ARD Prague, 11.10.2021 · 11:05 p.m.