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January 14, 2018 9:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

PM Babis Urges Zeman to Distance Himself from Russia Before Runoff

By ČTK Andrej Babis Milos Zeman

Prague, Jan 13 (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) supports incumbent President Milos Zeman also before the presidential runoff, he said today shortly before the release of the final results of the first round of the election, from which the victorious Zeman advanced along with academic Jiri Drahos.

 

However, Babis recommended that Zeman clearly declare that he does not want to focus the Czech Republic on the East and that he visited Russia and China only to support Czech exporters.

 

He added that it is the Czech government that decides on foreign policy.

 

Babis also recommended to Zeman to distance himself from some of his aides, but he did not give any name. He said everybody knows his assistants.

 

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said Zeman would not react to Babis’s recommendations now.

 

Babis congratulated Zeman and his rival Drahos on their advancing from the first round today. He said he expects the duel to be interesting.

 

Babis noted that Zeman won 39 percent of the vote in the first round, while five years ago it was 24 percent. He said this seemed to be so because of the different situation as Zeman is defending his post this year.

 

Babis said this is his own stance as his ANO movement will not take any official stance on the presidential runoff.

 

A part of ANO politicians announced in advance that they would not support Zeman in the presidential election. It were the three representatives ANO has in the European Parliament – Dita Charanzova, Martina Dlabajova and Petr Jezek – and Ostrava Mayor Tomas Macura, among others.

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