The Czech President Eyes a Post-Election Power Grab

Czech President Milos Zeman addresses the media during a joint press conference with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, in Vienna, June 10, 2021 (AP photo by Lisa Leutner).
Czech President Milos Zeman addresses the media during a joint press conference with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, in Vienna, June 10, 2021 (AP photo by Lisa Leutner).
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic—President Milos Zeman’s decision last week to sign legislation that blocks Russia and China from involvement in the Czech nuclear industry came as a surprise given Zeman’s efforts to deepen ties with Moscow and Beijing. The move was likely a tactical retreat by the cunning head of state, who expects upcoming parliamentary elections on Oct. 8 and 9 to hand him significant influence over the next government.   Although polls suggest the country is split down the middle, with support divided equally between illiberal populist and pro-democratic forces, Zeman has already said he plans to use the constitutional […]

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