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Zeman regrets he cannot dismiss PM Sobotka

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Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman received many letters, in which people asked him to dismiss Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in the past week and he regrets that he has no such power, Zeman said in a live radio interview yesterday.
He also criticised Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) for sending him messages with different views via media and not telling him his opinions personally.
Zeman and Sobotka verbally clashed over the celebrations of November 17, marking the student demonstrations against the Nazi occupation in 1939 and against the Communist regime in 1989.
In an interview for daily Hospodarske noviny, Sobotka condemned Zeman´s giving a speech side by side with the Bloc against Islam chairman Martin Konvicka on the stage in Prague-Albertov on November 17. Sobotka said the president should not appear at an event of a xenophobic sect spreading hatred.
Zeman then told daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD, that Sobotka’s stance on the migrant crisis threatened the security of the Czech Republic.
Zeman said yesterday he would consider it correct if politicians with different stances exchanged their opinions tete-a-tete. However, he had to react to Sobotka´s criticism, he added.
Zeman said he had received many letters demanding Sobotka´s dismissal mainly due to his stance on migration. One of the radio listeners also called on Zeman to sack Sobotka yesterday.
“If he read the constitution, he would find out that unfortunately, and I repeat unfortunately, the president does not have such a power,” Zeman said.
He can dismiss the PM only if the Chamber of Deputies votes no confidence in his government. The PM can also tender his resignation himself.
Zeman reiterated that he would announce in March 2017 only whether he would run for president for another five-year term.
Zeman positively assessed the statements by Deputy PM and ANO chairman Andrej Babis in an interview with the Saturday issue of Pravo.
Babis did not rule out that ANO might support Zeman in the next presidential election though he called such considerations premature. If ANO does not find a strong personality, it will not field its own presidential candidate at any cost, Babis added.
“If I decide to run for president, I will appreciate support from all parliamentary entities,” Zeman said, commenting on Babis´s words.

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