Czech president out of hospital to name new PM

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Czech President Milos Zeman left Prague’s Military University Hospital (UVN) for home care on Thursday when he was due to appoint the new prime minister, the facility said.

Zeman was hospitalised on October 10, a day after a general election, and treated for liver problems that doctors have suggested could be cirrhosis.

The president was taken from the UVN to his Lany chateau residence just west of Prague, the hospital said in a statement.

Zeman was expected to appoint centre-right leader Petr Fiala as prime minister at Lany on Friday.

Fiala’s Together alliance of three parties narrowly won the vote. “The UVN still recommends care provided in a specialised medical facility under the supervision of a team of medical experts,” the hospital said.

“However, considering the remarkable improvement in the president’s condition, we fully respect his decision to prefer the fulfillment of his constitutional duties outside the medical facility,” it added.

The Together alliance comprising Fiala’s right-wing Civic Democratic Party, the centrist Christian Democrats and the centre-right TOP 09 party, defeated the populist ANO movement of outgoing billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Together has teamed up with a centrist grouping of the Mayors and Independents and the Pirate Party to clinch a majority of 108 votes in the 200-seat parliament.

The five parties put together a government while Zeman, who would normally have mediated the post-election talks, was in hospital.

Zeman, who was to name the prime minister and then the government under the constitution, said he had a problem with one name in Fiala’s cabinet.

The statement set off warning signals as the outspoken veteran left-winger is known for having insisted on his choices on several occasions in the past.—APP

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