State Election began on Friday in the Czech Republic. The session lasts for two days. Election venues will be open from 2am to 10pm on Saturdays from midnight to 2pm.
Nine nominees compete for the country’s highest constitutional position. In addition to the current chairman of Milos Zeman, the rest were mainly active in the business, scientific and cultural spheres.
In the first round, more than fifty percent of the votes cast for winning must be obtained, which does not seem realistic for the big candidates. If no one earns more than fifty percent, they will hold a second round in two weeks, with two of the most successful candidates in the first round. The final winner will be the one who gets more votes in the second round.
The direct presidential election, after long debates, was introduced in the Czech Republic in 2013. Earlier, the head of state was elected by the two Houses of Parliament in a joint meeting. Five years ago, Milos Zeman won Karel Schwarzenberg in the second round against right-wing politics.
The 73-year-old Milos Zeman is leaving now, wanting to protect his velvet chair, and this time, as in 2013, he has eight opponents.
Public opinion polls and the Prague press are virtually certain that the first round of elections is won by Milos Zeman’s current head of state but does not win more than fifty percent of the victory, so a second round of elections should be held.
Local observers, besides Zeman, are mostly Jirí Drahos, former president of the Czech Academy of Sciences or Michal Horácek, a contractor and songwriter for the second round, which will take place on January 26 and 27. Zeman’s support for the first round is 40-45 percent, Drahos is 35-40 percent, while Horácek has 10 to 20 percent.
The support of the other six candidates remained under ten percent in all cases. Among them, the most famous is Miroslav Topolánek, a former Democratic civilian prime minister, who has a number of corruption scandals, and today’s popularity is low. While the odds for the first round are Milos Zeman, the result of the second round is completely open, and it is not excluded that if the camp against Zeman is joined, he can defeat the current head of state together. According to a survey conducted by the STEM / MARK polling institute, Zemant was 42 per cent of the respondents in the second round, while Drahost would choose 48 per cent, and Drahos could be the new head of state. Nonetheless, the Prague press generally holds Milos Zeman as the moderate prospect of statehood.
Election attendance is expected to be above 60 percent.
In Czech political and social circles, there is a strong division of opinions on whether it was right to introduce direct presidential elections. This has been discussed in practice since the 1989 change of regime. The parties obviously preferred the election of the state parliament because there was a greater possibility of agreement behind the scenes.
However, after the parliamentary state confessions have repeatedly produced scandalous events after the regime change, social pressures forced the introduction of direct presidential elections. The candidates – and, in many cases, self-candidates – were quite long and colorful, but not everyone was able to meet the conditions required to start, which was the support of 50,000 electoral signatures or a group of deputies and senators.