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PRAGUE: The Czech Republic was plunged into uncertainty on Sunday as President Milos Zeman was rushed to hospital a day after his ally, populist billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis, narrowly lost an election.

The president, who plays a critical role in nominating any future prime minister, was taken to hospital by ambulance shortly after meeting Babis and appeared to be unconscious upon arrival, with someone seen holding up his head. His doctor said he was in intensive care. Babis is hoping to hold on to power despite being defeated on Saturday by the centre-right Together alliance, which has said it is ready to form a majority government with another grouping.

But after the first informal talks between Babis and Zeman at the latter's residence outside Prague, the president, who has been grappling with liver problems according to local media and politicians, ended up in intensive care.

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