Health problems were preventing Czech President Milos Zeman from carrying out his duties, an official said.
The speaker of the Czech Senate, Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), said that a letter he received from Prague’s military hospital where Zeman is being treated says the president is unable to work and the long-term prognosis is “very uncertain”.
According to the letter signed by the hospital’s director, Miroslav Zavoral, Zeman is unable to perform “any working duties for health reasons”. It said Zeman’s return to his duties in the next several weeks is “very unlikely.”
Vystrčil said the Senate would meet tomorrow (Tuesday, October 19) to debate activating Article 66 of the Czech Constitution which would transfer the president’s powers to other constitutional officials.
Under Czech law, if the president isn’t able to act due to his illness or other reasons, the prime minister and the speakers of both houses of parliament will take over his presidential powers.
Zeman was rushed to the Czech capital’s military hospital on October 10, a day after the election for the lower house of parliament.
The hospital previously said Zeman was in an intensive care unit in stable condition, but further details about his health were unknown.
As president, Zeman has a key role in establishing a new government. Although the office is largely ceremonial, the Czech president is responsible for tapping a party leader to try to form a government after a parliamentary election.