Zeman wants talks with university head to discuss objections to academic

President Miloš Zeman says he would like to meet the rector of Charles University, Václav Hampl, to discuss his objections to appointing academic Martin C. Putna, who teaches there, professor. Mr. Zeman said on Friday that he would not confer the title on Mr. Putna and that if he wanted to know why Mr. Putna could take him to court. Czech Television reported that the president’s objections to making the academic – who was opposed to his candidacy for head of state – a professor stem from the latter’s participation in a gay pride march. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Petr Nečas has called on Mr. Zeman to explain his opposition to Mr. Putna.

Some people have called for the removal of the (usually purely formal) power to name professors, which dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from the head of state.

Author: Ian Willoughby