Czech Republic Votes To Elect New President

Nine candidates are to be chosen from as polls open Friday for the people of the Czech Republic to elect their new president. This is a second time in the history of the country the citizens are attending a direct presidential vote.

The first round of the presidential election is being held on Friday 12th and  Saturday 13th of January 2018. If no candidate obtains the majority of votes, a second round – run-off election between the top two candidates – will be held in two weeks on 26th and 27th of January 2018.

In order to qualify for the ballot, candidates had to gather 50,000 signatures from citizens, 20 Deputies or 10 Senators. Out of 19 submissions to the Ministry of the Interior, only nine of them met requirements for registration and became official candidates:

Mirek Topolánek (1)Topolánek

The former Czech prime minister and former leader of the Civic Democratic Party is running under number 1 with support from 10 Senators, Civic Democratic Party and Freeholder Party of the Czech Republic.

Michal Horáček (2)

Under the slogan  “We can do better,” Horáček gathered 86,940 signatures from the public to qualify for the race. He describes himself as neither left-wing nor right-wing and runs as an independent candidate.

Pavel Fischer (3)

The former Czech Ambassador to France received the nomination from 17 senators of Christian and Democratic Union, Czechoslovak People’s Party, Social Democrats, T09 and party of Mayors and Independents. He runs as an independent candidate himself.

Jiří Hynek (4)

Hynek, the chairman of the Association for Weapons and Defense Industry, runs under number 4 with support from 29 members of parliament. He is a member of the Realists party, which he co-founded in 2016.

Petr Hannig (5)

The leader of the Party of Common Sense and a graduate of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague stands in the race under number 5. He gathered 29 signatures from members of Parliament in order to qualify for the race. He runs as a member of Party of Common Sense.

Vratislav Kulhánek (6)

The former CEO of Škoda Auto and former President of the Czech Ice Hockey Association has been nominated by the Civic Democratic Alliance. Although the party does not have any MPs or Senators, he managed to secure the nomination by 23 members of the lower house.

Miloš Zeman (7)

The current President of the Czech Republic runs in the race in hope of reelection to serve his second term. The member of Party of Civic Rights and former Prime Minister gathered 103,817 signatures from the public to qualify.

Marek Hilšer (8)

The political activist and university lecturer runs as an Independent candidate. He is the youngest and the first declared candidate in the race and gathered support from 11 senators in order to be able to run.

Jiří Drahoš (9)

The President of the Czech Academy of Sciences has been declared as one of the main rivals in the race. Even though he runs as an independent candidate, his candidacy is endorsed by Christian and Democratic Union and Mayors and Independents party. He presented 141,234 signatures from the public to qualify.