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January 14, 2018 7:00 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Zeman Accepts Drahos Debate Invitation

By ČTK Milos Zeman

Prague, Jan 13 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman, 73, is ready to meet former Science Academy (AV) president Jiri Drahos, 68, his rival in the second round of the presidential election, in a TV debate before the runoff vote, he told reporters today after almost all votes were counted.

 

Zeman avoided public debates until now for which he was broadly criticised. He said today he might take part in more than one debate, but that three would be boring for the audience in his opinion.

 

“I am still young, full of energy and I enjoy discussions. Mr Drahos was saying he would like to meet me face to face and I will accommodate him with pleasure,” he said, hinting at the speculations about his poor health.

 

Zeman also thanked for the votes he had got in the first round and called on his supporters to take part in the runoff.

 

“I am grateful for any recommendation, aid and support. I have registered that so different personalities like (PM and ANO chairman) Andrej Babis and (legendary pop music singer) Karel Gott supported me. I only hope that they will go to the runoff vote when everything starts from the point zero,” he said.

 

Zeman also appreciated his own election result, reminding that five years ago, he gained 24 percent of the vote in the first round, while now it is some 39 percent.

 

“I congratulate Jiri Drahos on the nice second place,” he said.

 

Zeman also mentioned the disinformation spread before the election calling on his voters not to take part in the first round for he would advance to the second round automatically as the current head of state. He refused to speculate how many votes ha had lost due to this. “This will not affect anyone in the second round,” he added.

 

Zeman does not plan any significant changes in his regime in the following two weeks until the second round except for participating in discussions, he said.

 

He will study the material he receives every day, sleep, eat and enjoy life, he said, adding that he would not like to reduce the pre-election topics to just one.

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