Czech president slammed after joking about killing PM

Politicians unite in condemnation after Milos Zeman suggests using a 'Kalashnikov' to get rid of Bohuslav Sobotka.

    Zeman, left, has been criticised by the government for his anti-refugee comments [EPA]
    Zeman, left, has been criticised by the government for his anti-refugee comments [EPA]

    The Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman has caused outrage in the country after joking about using a Kalashnikov assault rifle to get rid of his prime minister and adversary. 

    Opposition parties and government politicians alike have united in condemnation at the president's comments about Bohuslav Sobotka.

    Zeman made the comment while at a public debate in the town of Tisnov after a member of the audience asked what do to about the prime minister, known for his more moderate stance on the refugee crisis.

    "If you want to get rid of any politician, including the president, there is only one democratic way and that is a free election, which will take place in a year," Zeman said.

    "And then there is an undemocratic path that is called Kalashnikov," he said with a smile, the Reuters news agency reported.

    Hardliner

    Zeman has been previously criticised for his hardline stance on refugees and has called the flow of people fleeing wars in the Middle East and Asia, an "organised invasion".

    Sobotka, who leads the ruling Social Democrat (CSSD) government, has condemned the president's comments.

    "We are with the highest probability the only country in a civilised world where the president publicly calls for killing the prime minister," news agency CTK quoted him as saying.

    A joint statement by the speakers of both the upper and lower houses of the Czech parliament said Zeman's comments were "unacceptable", local news outlet Ceske Noviny reported.

    "We are convinced that similar statements by constitutional officials, no matter if they may have been meant as an exaggeration, are completely unacceptable and inappropriate," said Milan Stech and Jan Hamacek, both from Sobotka's CSSD, in a statement.

    Opposition Communist party chairman Vojtech Filip also called Zeman's words "disgusting".

    Zeman, who has little executive power, has spoken out frequently against Islam and Muslim migration into Europe.

    Zeman has courted controversy over his stance on the refugee crisis [Filip Singer/EPA]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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