Czech president taken to hospital one day after parliamentary elections

Czech President Milos Zeman, known to some as the “Czech Trump,” was taken to the hospital on Sunday, Breitbart reports, just one day after the country’s parliamentary elections and during a critical time in the establishment of a new government in which he needs to be involved.

It is Zeman’s second visit to the hospital in less than a month. He was previously admitted on Sept. 14, but was only diagnosed with dehydration and exhaustion at the time.

Zeman, 77, reportedly smokes heavily and drinks alcohol. He is also a diabetic and uses a wheelchair due to diabetic neuropathy.

His post as the Czech president is largely ceremonial, but he does get to choose the country’s new prime minister.

Coalition defeated

Current Prime Minister and close ally Andrej Babis met with Zeman on Sunday shortly before he was taken to the hospital. The centrist ANO political movement led by Babis, who is both a populist and a billionaire, narrowly lost the election Saturday to a liberal-conservative three-party coalition.

This means the ANO (yes) movement will only have 72 seats in parliament, but the coalition of liberal-conservatives and leftist liberals together will have 108 seats.

Zeman and Babis’ movement has stood against illegal immigration and has even suggested an EU version of the Second Amendment to allow members to own firearms for self-defense.

Now, it seems the other side will have its chance to reverse those policies.

Next steps

While Zeman would traditionally appoint a prime minister from the majority party or coalition, he indicated that after the election he would appoint a prime minister from the “strongest” party. Zeman also released a statement congratulating the winners of the election.

An early supporter of former President Donald Trump, Zeman visited the White House in 2019. He later blasted Trump for not admitting defeat after the 2020 U.S. election, as the Independent noted.

Now, Zeman is finding out what it’s like for his party to be very close to an election win, but not quite strong enough to bring home a winner.

It wasn’t clear whether Zeman, if healthy enough to continue, will continue to serve as president with his party out of power, but he has given no indication so far that he plans to resign any time soon.

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