SPOLU Coalition Will Not Nominate Its Own Candidate For The Presidency
The SPOLU coalition has announced that it will not field its own candidate or provide an individual endorsement for the first round of the presidential election. Credit: SPOLU via Facebook.
Brno, Oct 4 (CTK) – The governing Czech coalition SPOLU, comprising the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and TOP 09, will not nominate its own candidate for the January presidential election, in order to not split the vote, Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) told journalists today.
The coalition will not endorse a candidate in the first round of the vote either, he added. Nonetheless, he said they are planning an information campaign before the presidential vote, as they do not want an extremist or populist to be elected.
Fiala named Senator Pavel Fischer, former Mendel University rector Danuse Nerudova and General Petr Pavel as suitable candidates for the post of president, close to the positions of SPOLU.
“It is still our aim, and our responsibility as the strongest grouping, to prevent the entry of populist and extremist forces to the post of president,” Fiala said, adding that the president represents the Czech Republic in a number of international meetings, including at NATO .
TOP 09’s deputy chairman, Senator Tomas Czernin, warned of President Milos Zeman’s poor communication with the Senate.
Czernin said the country hoped that at the beginning of next year, a president would be elected who would communicate with the government, both parliamentary houses, and all citizens.
KDU-CSL leader Marian Jurecka said Fischer, Nerudova and Pavel all had their supporters within the coalition; some party members are helping to collect signatures and the party’s grassroots members have actively joined the campaign.
Addressing Pavel’s membership of the Communist party during the Communist era, Fiala said it was most important for the coalition that the president should have a clear pro-Western orientation, respecting the constitution and the wishes of voters.
The first round of the presidential vote is set for January 13-14, the second for two weeks later. Candidates must submit their candidacy officially by early November at the latest.
According to the latest polls, Pavel and the former Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) are the current favourites, though Babis has not yet confirmed his bid.
Nerudova and senator Marek Hilser are the next highest-polling candidates. According to the September poll conducted by the Median agency, Fischer has the support of about 6% of voters.