Former PM Fischer plans to run for president if direct presidential elections introduced

07-02-2011

Former prime minister Jan Fischer, who led a caretaker government halfway through the Czech EU presidency in 2009, has said he would “definitely run” for the post of Czech president in 2013 if the country’s politicians succeed in introducing direct presidential elections. Mr Fischer, currently Vice President for Operational Policies at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), made the statement speaking to Parlamentní listy in Prague on Monday. Current President Václav Klaus’ second and final term ends in 2013. As prime minister, Mr Fischer enjoyed highly favourable numbers among the public, polls repeatedly suggested. The current government is presently working on a proposal to change the presidential election system, a move also being sought by the opposition Social Democrats. Negotiations on the issue, however, could well prove difficult, given differences on voting methods as well as over potential changes to presidential powers. Currently the country’s president is elected every five years in a joint session of both houses of Parliament.