Trump should quit and 'not be embarrassing', Czech president says

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Czech President Zeman gestures in Vienna
FILE PHOTO: Czech President Zeman gestures in Vienna

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Donald Trump would be wiser to acknowledge losing the U.S. presidential election and quit, Czech President Milos Zeman, an early Trump supporter, said on Thursday.

Zeman, one of the few European politicians who backed Trump before his 2016 election victory but who made no such endorsement this year, told news website www.parlamentnilisty.cz that while it was possible to demand recounts and go to court, Trump should take a different route.

"I personally believe that it would be much more reasonable to give up, not to be embarrassing, and allow the new president to take office," he said.

Trump has refused to accept the victory of Democrat challenger Joe Biden, syaing the Nov. 3 election was rigged.

Zeman, 76, is a towering figure in Czech post-communist politics, having served as prime minister and won two presidential elections.

Czech presidents do not wield the executive power like their U.S. counterparts, but Zeman has used his influence to push for closer ties with Russia and China.

Zeman has shared Trump's initial warm approach to Russia, tough stance on immigration or support for Israeli government policies.

But he never received a coveted invitation to the White House and has backed a pro-Russian stance on issues of U.S. interest, including plans to build a new nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic and the extradition of a Russian hacking suspect to the United States.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Nick Macfie)