President: timely naming of premier-designate is responsibility of head-of-state

In his first press conference since the fall of the government on Monday, President Miloš Zeman stressed that naming the next prime minister designate and doing so quickly was his responsibility as the head-of-state. The current coalition of the Civic Democrats, TOP 09, and LIDEM officially ended on Monday following the premier’s resignation; the cabinet has been asked to govern for an interim period. As a way out of the crisis, the president could name a candidate from among the Civic Democrats to try and renew the centre-right coalition or could decide on a candidate of his own choosing to lead a caretaker government. The president has also not ruled out the possibility of early elections, but made clear the drawback there would be legislation (due to be discussed by Parliament) being swept off the table. Early elections would also cost the country around 500 million crowns, Mr Zeman noted, would be “thrown out the window”.

Author: Jan Velinger