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January 24, 2018 8:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Zeman Confirms He Will Appoint Babis as PM Again

By ČTK

Prague, Jan 23 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman will entrust Andrej Babis with talks on the formation of a new government on Wednesday and appoint him as PM again in February, Zeman said in a debate with his rival candidate in the presidential election’s runoff, academic Jiri Drahos, on Prime TV today.

 

Zeman will meet Babis at Prague Castle, the presidential seat, on Wednesday to accept the resignation of his ANO’s minority government.

 

During the debate, Drahos said he would give the chance to form a government to the election winner if he were the president. However, the post of prime minister is an appointed and not elected post, he said.

 

“The election winner has no automatic right to the post of PM. I cannot imagine a prosecuted man to become prime minister,” Drahos, former Science Academy head, said, hinting at the criminal prosecution of Babis on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud.

 

Babis’s government approved its resignation last Wednesday five weeks after its appointment as the Chamber of Deputies did not vote confidence in it. It was supported only by the 78 ANO MPs in the 200-seat lower house.

 

The Presidential Office originally announced that Zeman would accept the resignation at the end of last week. But Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek changed the date later, arguing with Zeman’ busy schedule.

 

Ovcacek said Zeman was preparing for an election TV duel with Drahos. Later, he said Zeman had undergone a minor medical intervention in his mouth in hospital last week.

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