President Klaus signs direct presidential election bill


President Václav Klaus on Wednesday signed into law a bill on direct presidential elections, a spokesman for the president said. The legislation will allow Czechs to elect the next president in a two-round direct election, for the first time in history. According to the implementary legislation, any candidate will have to be nominated by either 20 MPs or ten senators, or collect 50,000 signatures in support of the bid. Expenses on the election campaign will be limited to 50 million crowns. The two candidates who receive the highest number of votes will advance to the second round to be held two weeks after the first. Czech expats will be allowed to vote at Czech embassies and consulates. So far, some 15 people have expressed interest in running for president. The next head of state will be elected in January or February 2013.