Czech President Zeman's condition improves, leaves intensive care unit

  • World
  • Thursday, 04 Nov 2021

FILE PHOTO: Re-elected Czech President Milos Zeman attends the inauguration ceremony at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, March 8, 2018. REUTERS/David W Cerny/File Photo

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech President Milos Zeman was moved from an intensive care unit after more than three weeks of treatment to a standard hospital room on Thursday after his condition improved, the Prague Central Military Hospital said.

Zeman, 77, was taken to hospital with an unknown condition on Oct. 10, a day after the central European country held an election that his ally Prime Minister Andrej Babis lost to a group of opposition parties.

The presidential office has not revealed his diagnosis but the hospital's report, released on Oct. 18, said Zeman was not able to carry out his duties, which could lead parliament to strip him of powers including the role of appointing a new prime minister.

It was not clear from the hospital statement if the president's condition had improved enough to change the hospital's view of his ability to work.

"The treatment, especially complex nutrition support, given in intensive care led to the improvement of the president's clinical condition. Today the president has been transferred to a standard bed," the hospital said in a statement.

The newly elected lower house is due to meet on Nov. 8 in a session that will initiate the transfer of power.

Once its opening session is concluded, the current government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis will be obliged to resign and the president is due to appoint a new prime minister.

The five centrist and centre-right parties that won 108 seats on the 200-seat lower house in the election have reached an agreement on forming a new government and want Zeman to appoint the head of the centre-right Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala, as the new prime minister.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Alison Williams and Hugh Lawson)

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