President suggests he would prefer caretaker government

President Miloš Zeman on Sunday indicated in the Talks from Lány radio programme on Czech Radio that he would prefer to solve the current political crisis by appointing a caretaker government. Mr Zeman said he had shortlisted four potential candidates for the prime minister's post.

The president pointed out he could not call early elections unless at least 120 MPs - a three-fifths constitutional majority - agreed on the dissolution of the lower house. Another alternative would be to allow the continuation of the present right-wing coalition under a new prime minister. He also mentioned the possibility of naming the chairman of the strongest opposition party, the Social Democrats, prime minister. But the party's leader Bohuslav Sobotka has said he would turn such an offer down. He called the final possibility, of appointing an interim government, "realistic". The president is to announce his final decision at Prague Castle at 3 P.M. Tuesday.

Author: Jan Velinger