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Czech leaders meet president on political crisis

Czech leaders meet president on political crisis

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Czech leaders are meeting with President Milos Zeman in efforts to resolve a political crisis triggered by the prime minister’s decision to resign with his government over unexplained business dealings of the finance minister.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced the resignation on Tuesday, saying the minister, billionaire businessman Andrej Babis, had not allayed suspicions that he avoided paying taxes.

Sobotka’s surprising move reflects tensions in the three-party ruling coalition.

Babis is a rival of Sobotka’s leftist Social Democrats and heads a centrist movement that is a favourite to win October’s ballot. Babis says there’s no reason to resign.

Zeman, who has a right to select a new premier, plans to meet Babis Wednesday as well Sobotka’s deputy, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec.

The Associated Press