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Czech Senate leader says president unable to carry out his duties

Czech President Milos Zeman is unable to carry out his official duties due to health problems, the speaker of the Czech Senate said on Monday, citing a report from the hospital treating him.

Czech President Milos Zeman is unable to carry out his official duties due to health problems, the speaker of the Czech Senate said on Monday, citing a report from the hospital treating him.

Milos Vystrcil said that the long-term prognosis is “extremely uncertain” for Zeman, who was admitted to the intensive care unit at Prague’s Central Military Hospital on October 10.

Vystrcil said that according to the report he received it was “unlikely” Zeman would be able to return to work in the next few weeks.

Zeman could face impeachment proceedings or may be temporarily relieved of his duties, a measure requiring only a simple majority in both houses of parliament. The Senate is to discuss its next steps on Tuesday.

While the presidency is a largely ceremonial role in the Czech Republic, Zeman’s hospitalization comes at a politically sensitive time.

He was admitted to hospital a day after elections in which the opposition won a clear majority of 108 out of 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of parliament.

The president plays a key role in handing a politician the mandate to form the government.

Populist Prime Minister Andrej Babis, a billionaire tycoon who was denied a second term in the election, counts Zeman as an ally. He called Vystrcil’s information “surprising.”

The head of the Office of the President, Vratislav Mynar, accused the Senate leader of pursuing his own political ends by speaking about Zeman’s health.

Little has been publicly released on Zeman’s condition, adding to the political tension after the parliamentary poll.

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