PRAGUE, Oct 16 (Reuters) – When Vaclav Havel nearly died of a ruptured intestine as Czech president in 1998, doctors provided daily updates on his condition.
Nearly a quarter of a century later, a Czech president is again in hospital but the public has not been told what is wrong with him.
President Milos Zeman was taken into intensive care in hospital on Oct. 10. Since then, his spokesperson and doctors have not provided a diagnosis or said how long he will need to recover.
Politicians and members of the public are now asking whether the 77-year-old president is fit to carry out his duties in the central European country, where communists held power for over four decades until the 1989 Velvet Revolution.
It is all the more worrying, they say, because the Czech Republic has just held an election and it is the president’s duty to appoint the next prime minister.
“We are beginning to look like the Soviet Union or North Korea,” said Michael Zantovsky, a spokesperson for Havel in the early 1990s who now runs the Vaclav Havel Library, drawing comparisons with the secretive communist era.
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