Petr Fiala named new Czech PM by Covid-stricken president - GulfToday

Petr Fiala named new Czech PM by Covid-stricken president


Czech President Milos Zeman (right) Petr Fiala as Czech Prime Minister at the Lany manor, near Prague, on Sunday. AP

Gulf Today Report

Right-winger Petr Fiala was named the Czech Republic's new prime minister on Sunday in an unusual ceremony, with wheelchair-bound President Milos Zeman speaking from behind a plastic barrier because he has Covid-19.

Fiala, a 57-year-old literature fanatic and former amateur footballer, is a James Bond fan who entered politics after becoming the country's first political science professor following the fall of communism.


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He started out in politics as a science adviser to the prime minister in 2011 and then a year later became education minister.

He only became a lawmaker following a general election in October 2013.

Milos Zeman, separated by a transparent wall, appoints Petr Fiala as the new prime minister on Sunday. Reuters

The bespectacled, bearded man who carefully guards his privacy is on the biggest mission of his life after leading the centre-right Together alliance to a narrow election win in October.

"I am James Bond in fact," he once went so far as to say in an interview.

"Bond can shoot well and so can I. He also speaks many languages and is well-educated, and I hope I fulfil that too," Fiala said.

Fiala, a bearded, bespectacled former political scientist, will face the urgent task of grappling with one of the world's highest Covid infection rates including a case of the new Omicron variant.

"I am convinced we will soon have a strong and stable government," Fiala said at the ceremony.

The five parties have agreed on the composition of the future government and on a policy statement.

Post-election talks were held without the 77-year-old president, who was taken to hospital by ambulance on October 10, a day after the election, to be treated for liver problems.


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