Czech President Zeman released from hospital after 46 days

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PRAGUE, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Czech President Milos Zeman has been released from hospital after more than six weeks, the Central Military Hospital in Prague (UVN) said on Thursday.

Zeman, 77, was admitted to hospital on Oct. 10 with complications to a chronic illness that his office never specified but which doctors said was a liver condition.

He went into hospital a day after a parliamentary election in which Zeman’s allies, led by Prime Minster Andrej Babis, lost to a centre-right coalition and the president’s leverage over parliament was undermined.

Zeman was initially treated in an intensive care unit and doctors said the prognosis was uncertain. Parliament prepared to debate taking away his presidential duties but after several weeks Zeman’s condition improved.

He has said he will respect the election result and that he will appoint centre-right leader Peter Fiala as prime minister on Friday, with the appointment of the cabinet to follow later.

The hospital said the president had decided to continue treatment at the presidential retreat at Lany, west of Prague, despite suggestions from the hospital that he should stay.

The hospital said Zeman, his family and closest colleagues had been informed about potential risks and complications and that it had recommended he be treated in a specialised medical facility.

But it said there had been a “significant improvement” in Zeman’s condition and that it respected his decision to “give preference to performing his constitutional duties.”

Before his hospital stay, Zeman had tried to improve relations with Russia and China, but relations soured with Moscow in a spy row and with Beijing over failed investment plans.

The incoming government intends to reinforce the country’s Western orientation and strengthen relations with democracies including Taiwan, which China claims as its territory.

Zeman has 15 months remaining in his second and final five-year term.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Alex Richardson and Timothy Heritage)

Photo – Czech President Milos Zeman. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK

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