Miloš Zeman received less of the vote than predicted in round one of the presidential elections and his challenger Jiří Drahoš seems to have a strong chance of unseating the incumbent. So who is most likely to be the next Czech head of state? And given his rhetorical skills, will mooted TV debates be enough to turn things around for Mr. Zeman? I discussed those questions with Dr. Sean Hanley of School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London.
One of the seven candidates who failed to make it to the second round in
the presidential elections, Michal Horáček, has offered major help to
Jiří Drahoš. Mr. Horáček said he would turn over all of his rented
billboards, internet advertising slots and voters’ centre to President
Zeman’s challenger. He also called on the volunteers in his own campaign
to work for Mr. Drahoš.
Another defeated candidate, Marek Hilšer, has offered to help Mr. Drahoš on social media and said he was also ready to back him on the stump.
Last Friday and Saturday Czechs went to the polls for the first round of the presidential election, choosing among nine candidates including President Miloš Zeman. Public surveys had repeatedly suggested that both the incumbent and his opponent, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences Jiří Drahoš, would advance. They hit the nail on the head.
Incumbent Miloš Zeman’s team will provide details on Tuesday regarding
television debates ahead of the second round of voting in the Czech
presidential elections, his spokesman said. Mr. Zeman refused to hold
public discussions with other candidates prior to the first round. However,
he said after Saturday’s vote count that he would be glad to meet his
challenger Jiří Drahoš face to face.
Mr. Zeman suggested the ideal number of debates would be two. His spokesman wrote on Twitter on Monday that “campaigns should be about opinions” and that was how the president’s camp would proceed.
Mr. Zeman received 38.6 percent in the first round. Mr. Drahoš got 26.6 percent but has the backing of a number of defeated first round candidates. The second round takes place on January 26 and 27.
More than 45 percent of Czechs abroad voted for Jiří Drahoš in the first
round of presidential elections. Pavel Fischer finished second with over 20
percent of the vote, followed by Marek Hilšer with more than 11 percent.
The incumbent Czech president Miloš Zeman, who won the first round with
round in the Czech Republic, secured 7.5 percent of the vote to finish in
the fifth place.
Jiří Drahoš gained more than 50 percent of the vote among Czech voters in the US and Brussels. Miloš Zeman, on the other hand, secured votes of Czech soldiers on foreign missions, coming in the first place in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
More than 12,000 Czechs living abroad cast their ballot in the first round of presidential election, most of the in Great Britain, Germany and Brussels. There were altogether 109 polling stations outside the Czech Republic, mostly at Czech embassies and consulates.
The Civic Democratic Party has given its endorsement to Jiří Drahoš in
the second round of direct presidential election set to take place in two
weeks’ time. The suggestion was made by the party chairman Jiří Fiala
on Sunday at the party’s congress in Ostrava.
Jiří Fiala, who was re-elected chairman of the Civic Democrats on Saturday, called on Czech citizens to take part in the presidential election and said that Miloš Zeman’s second term in office is not in the country’ best interest.
Jiří Drahoš, a former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and a university chemistry professor, is considered to be the most serious rival to the incumbent Miloš Zeman in the presidential race. Mr Drahoš is running as an independent candidate and has collected more than 142,000 signatures in his support.
A topless woman disrupted Czech president Miloš Zeman as he voted on
Friday afternoon on the outskirts of Prague.
The woman was tackled by a security guard after she took off clothing and ran towards the head of state. She was reported to belong to the activist group, Femen, and was shouting ‘Zeman Putin’s slut.' Zeman has been known for his support of the Russian president.
Zeman, aged 73 and seeking another five years in office, was visibly shaken by the event. and returned later to vote.
Polling stations around the country opened on Friday for Czechs to cast their vote in presidential elections. What are they expecting from their presidential candidate? Do they think their vote makes any difference? We talked to two Czechs at the opposite ends of the age spectrum about how they perceived the contest.