Outgoing Czech president withdraws threat to pre-emptively appoint constitutional court chief

Czech outgoing President Milos Zeman has backed away from his plan to appoint the head of the Constitutional Court. He was considering making the appointment before stepping down in March, but changed his mind after criticism from presidential candidates and his predecessor, Vaclav Klaus. Zeman was trying to maintain influence over the post after he steps down, but the move could have sparked a constitutional dispute. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala talked Zeman out of the appointment, and Zeman confirmed he will not make the appointment. Incoming President Petr Pavel had said he intended to appoint his own candidate, which would have led to a potential conflict.

Zeman referred to his change of mind as “a kind farewell gesture.” Pavel, who was a former army chief of staff and former chairman of NATO Military Command, promises a clean break with Zeman’s administration and has been critical of Zeman’s staff and their controversial links to the Kremlin and high-profile corruption cases. Zeman hopes Pavel will maintain a good relationship with Slovakia, which has been shared by Slovak President Zuzana Caputova.

Article by Prague Forum

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