President Miloš Zeman has described speculation about his state of health
as a campaign against him in the run-up to a presidential election in
January. In an interview published on the news site iDnes.cz, the head of
state said his only health problem was neuropathy that made it difficult
for him to walk.
Mr. Zeman said he had used a wheelchair once and this had caused a storm but he did not expect to need one regularly for 10 or more years. He said he would not publish a complete medical report on his health as he had done so before in the form of statements from his doctors.
The Office of the President is suing a local politician in Brno who said Mr. Zeman was suffering from cancer and had only months to live.
Former prime minister Mirek Topolánek failed to register a campaign
account by Tuesday in line with filing his bid to run in the upcoming
presidential election, Czech Radio reported Friday, adding the account
created later was non-transparent.
Mr Topolánek unexpectedly announced his decision to run for president last Sunday and secured signatures from 10 senators on the eve of the deadline.
His team countered that the law did not properly account for last-minute candidacies. The Interior Ministry is looking into the matter; there are several possibilities, from symbolic sanctions to a fine of up to half a million crowns.
No more than nine candidates of 20 who registered to run in the
presidential election this week will be eligible, the Interior
Ministry's Klára Pěknicová confirmed on Friday. According to the
official, 11 candidates did not fulfill the necessary legal requirements,
either failing to submit enough signatures from the public or from
lawmakers or filed after the Tuesday deadline.
A total of eight would-be candidates submitted no signatures at all.
Those running in the election on January 13th, 2018, range between the ages of 41 and 74.
Tuesday, November 7th, marked the last day in which individuals could
register to run in next year’s presidential elections. The deadline to
file with the Interior Ministry was 4 pm. In order to qualify for the
ballot, candidates were required to gather 50,000 signatures from citizens,
or had to win support from twenty MPs or 10 senators.
The Interior Ministry in the coming days will assess which candidates met the legal requirements, and also verify a randomly chosen sample of signatures for each entry. A total of 18 candidates reportedly filed by Tuesday, but it is not yet clear whether all met the legal conditions.
The first round of voting in the presidential elections is to take place on January 12-13, with a runoff to be held a fortnight later if required.
A new poll conducted by the Median agency has suggested that presidential
candidate Jiří Drahoš, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences,
would make it into the second round of the presidential election in January
and would narrowly defeat the incumbent, Miloš Zeman, by a total of 51
percent to 49 percent.
The poll was conducted in the month of October; a month earlier, the poll suggested Drahoš would finish with 55.5 percent of the vote. The poll did not take into account the candidacy of latecomer former prime minister Mirek Topolánek, who announced his intention to run this week.
Another poll, conducted by CVVM and published on Monday, also suggested Mr Drahoš would make it into the second round. According to that survey, 34 percent would vote for the incumbent, 22 percent for Mr Drahoš and 13 percent for lyricist Michal Horáček.
President Miloš Zeman has collected 113,000 signatures from the public in
support of his presidential candidacy and has officially registered in the
race for president.
At a press briefing in Prague at which he appeared with his wife Ivana who supervised the team of volunteers collecting signatures, Zeman thanked his supporters and said he was ready to take on his rivals in the race. He refused to comment on who he considered the most serious rival for the country’s top post.
The deadline for registering in the presidential elections is Tuesday, November 7th. There are currently 12 candidates running for the country’s top post.
Former prime minister Mirek Topolánek has confirmed his intention to run
for president in next year’s presidential elections. Topolánek said he
had sought support across the political spectrum and had collected the
necessary ten signatures from senators. The former leader of the Civic
Democratic Party told Czech Television his decision was motivated by the
turn of events following the general elections and the possibility that a
government could run the country without a vote of confidence.
The head of the Civic Democratic Party Petr Fiala welcomed the decision saying Topolánek was an experienced politician with a good grasp of international affairs.
Former prime minister Mirek Topolánek may enter the race for president,
the news site novinky.cz reported .According to the news site Topolánek is
seeking to gain support from the Civic Democratic Party’s ten senators,
the precise number of signatures he would need for his candidacy.
Topolánek himself has neither confirmed this possibility, nor ruled it out, saying he would decide in the next few days. The deadline for registering in the presidential race is Tuesday, November 7th. There are currently 12 candidates in the running, including the incumbent head of state Miloš Zeman.
Jiří Drahoš, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, has
officially filed his candidacy with the Interior Ministry to run in the
presidential election in January 2018, with the deadline of November 7
looming. The presidential hopeful gathered more than 142,000 signatures for
his bid, a minimum 50,000 was needed.
The candidate said the total was even higher but that some 15,000 signatures were disqualified for irregularities.
Mr Drahoš told journalists that he wanted to serve his country and fight not only for the Czech Republic but also for “a better and safer Europe”. Since announcing his intention to run, betting agencies have had Mr Drahoš in first and second place against the incumbent, Miloš Zeman.