| 18 April 2024, Thursday |

Czech President Zeman released from hospital after 46 days

Czech President Milos Zeman was released from the Central Military Hospital in Prague (UVN) on Thursday after being hospitalized for more than six weeks.

Zeman, 77, was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 10 due to complications from a chronic illness that his office did not specify but that doctors said was a liver condition.

He was admitted to the hospital the day after a parliamentary election in which Zeman’s allies, led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis, were defeated by a center-right coalition, undermining the president’s influence over parliament.

Zeman was initially treated in an intensive care unit and doctors said the prognosis was uncertain. Parliament prepared to debate taking away his presidential duties but after several weeks Zeman’s condition improved.

He has said he will respect the election result and that he will appoint center-right leader Peter Fiala as prime minister on Friday, with the appointment of the cabinet to follow later.

The hospital said the president had decided to continue treatment at the presidential retreat at Lany, west of Prague, despite suggestions from the hospital that he should stay.

The hospital said Zeman, his family and closest colleagues had been informed about potential risks and complications and that it had recommended he be treated in a specialized medical facility.

But it said there had been a “significant improvement” in Zeman’s condition and that it respected his decision to “give preference to performing his constitutional duties.”

Before his hospital stay, Zeman had tried to improve relations with Russia and China, but relations soured with Moscow in a spy row and with Beijing over failed investment plans.

The incoming government intends to reinforce the country’s Western orientation and strengthen relations with democracies including Taiwan, which China claims as its territory.

Zeman has 15 months remaining in his second and final five-year term.

  • Reuters