Why is Zeman snubbing the Czech government?

The Czech Senate is accusing President Miloš Zemanof violating the country's constitution on several counts, one of them being his refusal for the past eight weeks to nominate a new Social Democrat cultural minister. Commentators wonder what Zeman is up to.

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Echo24 (CZ) /

President doing as he pleases

It's unclear why Zeman is behaving the way he is, Echo24 comments:

“Simply appointing a new culture minister is taking not just a few hours, but a few months. On Wednesday Zeman promised the prime minister once again that he would dismiss the current minister at the end of July, but that he wouldn't decide who is to replace him until mid-August. The procedure is now in its third month, it should be noted. ... One can only speculate about Zeman's intentions here. Perhaps his plan is for the Social Democrats to leave government but Babiš to remain prime minister and the vacant posts to be filled with the president's protegees. Or perhaps with his scandalous behaviour the king of the castle is trying to create new enemies - which would be in keeping with his style of politics.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

Babiš backs down

Hospodářské noviny explains why Babiš is not defending himself against the president:

“It would be relatively easy to put an end to the drama. If the president does not heed the prime minister's recommendation for the job very soon, Babiš could confidently accuse him of acting outside his mandate. That would make it very clear once and for all that we are not living in the presidential system that Zeman wants. But Babiš fears Zeman. If Babiš were to be convicted [for EU subsidy fraud], he might need Zeman to pardon him. Only Zeman is in a position to make him prime minister again. Babiš is submitting to Zeman. So why should Zeman back down vis-à-vis the prime minister?”