On Thursday, the head of the Czech President’s office, Vratislav Mynář, published a video with President Miloš Zeman signing a document in the hospital, convening the newly elected Chamber of Deputies in the presence of its current speaker, Radek Vondráček. The footage is supposed to be proof that the president is able to act of his own will.
In the video, Zeman lies on his side in a hospital bed and speaks in a tired voice. He informs Vondráček that he is convening the Chamber of Deputies as soon as possible, to which the Speaker of the House answers, “Great.” Zeman then adds a German quote by Niccolò Machiavelli: “Zeit gewonnen, alles gewonnen,” meaning “time gained, everything gained.” Then the exhaustion takes over, and the president closes his eyes and looks like he wants to sleep.
The head of the President’s Office, Vratislav Mynář, said that Zeman had instructed him to prepare the signing of the document before going to the hospital and before the announcement that Zeman was incapable of performing his duties. Mynář called the signing process a mere completion of the constitutional act.
Contrary to coronavirus measures, none of those present at Zeman’s hospital bed wore a face mask. Furthermore, only two people can visit a patient at the ICU patient at a time. But there are twice as many in the video.
The shot of the document also shows an interesting detail: The date is missing when Zeman signs it. When Vondráček showed the signature to the public, the date was already there.
Currently, parliament is considering enacting Article 66 of the Constitution to remove powers from Zeman as Prague’s Central Military Hospital has announced that he is unable to perform his duties. In three weeks, the president will be needed to take necessary constitutional steps to appoint a new government.
In the previous days, Vratislav Mynář, and the wife of the president, held two press conferences. Mynář criticized the senate for requesting a prognosis of the president’s health condition from Prague’s Central Military Hospital. Zeman’s wife then asked journalists not to make speculations about her husband’s illness.
On Monday, the senate said that Vratislav Mynář had been briefed about Zeman’s prognosis. Nevertheless, he brought the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Radek Vondráček, to the president without the knowledge of the attending physician.
The police are currently investigating the allegations of a possible crime against the republic. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told the iDNES.cz news portal that Mynář had made a mistake and should resign. If he does not do so, Babiš will make any personnel changes himself after Article 66 is activated.