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Czech Crisis Goes on as Premier Rejects Minister Replacement

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka speaks to journalists at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, May 4, 2017.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka rejected a proposal for a new finance minister on Monday, prolonging a political crisis centering on the Republic's finance minister.

Sobotka had asked President Milos Zeman to fire Finance Minister Andrej Babis, one of the country's richest people, over unexplained business dealings. Babis has denied wrongdoing and says he won't resign.

Zeman has refused to fire his ally.

In an effort to resolve the crisis, Babis last week proposed his deputy, Alena Schillerova, as a replacement.

Sobotka said Monday that Schillerova is too close to Babis.

Babis said he didn't understand Sobotka's decision, but said he planned to propose another candidate for finance minister by Wednesday.

"We want to solve the crisis very soon," Babis said.

ANO is favored to win October's parliamentary election well ahead of Sobotka's leftist Social Democrats.