COVID-Positive Czech President Appoints New Prime Minister From Inside Glass Box

Czech President Milos Zeman formally appointed opposition leader Petr Fiala as the new prime minister on Nov. 28 while sitting inside a glass box after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

Hospital staff in full protective gear wheeled Zeman into a box that was constructed specially for the occasion.

Zeman, 77, caught COVID-19 during a lengthy stay in intensive care for unrelated problems. He is currently recovering at the presidential retreat in Lany, near the capital city of Prague.

Zeman is a heavy smoker and a former heavy drinker. He uses a wheelchair and has diabetes.

Under COVID-19 rules in Czech, an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to undergo two weeks of self-isolation.

The appointment came a month after Fiala’s center-right coalition Spolu won the parliamentary election last month — a surprise victory over Prime Minister Andrej Babis and his populist ANO party who had sough re-election after four years in power.

Zeman said he will now spend the next two weeks interviewing nominees for Fiala’s prospective cabinet members, even though the choice of candidates is supposed to be up to the prime minister-delegate.

Zeman added that he wants to complete the process by Dec. 13.


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