Zeman Social Democrats' candidate for second presidential vote

18-01-2003

The governing Social Democrats have chosen former party leader Milos Zeman as their candidate for next Friday's second attempt to find a successor to President Vaclav Havel. A first vote on Wednesday proved inconclusive. The two smaller parties in the governing coalition, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union, have said however they will not support Mr Zeman for president. Neither party has yet announced a candidate of their own, but the Christian Democrats have said Petr Pithart, their unsuccessful candidate in Wednesday's vote, will not be standing again.

Apart from Mr Zeman, the only other candidate so far is the opposition Civic Democrats' Vaclav Klaus, who did best in Wednesday's vote. The Communist Party are not expected to field a candidate, and are planning to hold talks about possible support with the parties who are putting a candidate forward.