40% of Czechs Turned Out to Vote on 1st Day of Election

Prague, Jan 12 (CTK) – Roughly two-fifths of Czechs have taken part in the first day of the first round of the presidential election today, the election staff has told journalists.


The interest ranged between 30 to 50 percent in various regions and municipalities.


The biggest turnout seems to have been in Prague where it was over 40 percent at 20:00.


On the other hand, less than one-third of eligible voters turned up at the polling stations in the West Bohemian Karlovy Vary Region at about 21:00.


In the Usti nad Labem region, roughly one-third of voters appeared in big in towns, while in its countryside, the turnout was about 45 percent.


In the “marginalised localities,” mainly inhabited the Roma, the turnout was tiny, regional spokeswoman Lucie Dosedelova said.


A similar situation was in the rest of the regions, too.


The polling stations close at 22:00 today. They reopen for the second day at 8:00 on Saturday.


They will be opened till 14:00 and then the election staff will start counting the vote.


The post of president is contested by nine candidates, the incumbent President Milos Zeman, former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos, businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek, former Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman and ex-PM Mirek Topolanek, physician and activist Marek Hilser, former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer, Skoda Auto former board chairman Vladimir Kulhanek, Defence and Security Industry Association President Jiri Hynek and musician and producer Petr Hannig.


If none of the candidates wins an absolute majority of the vote in the first round, the second round, to which two candidates with the strongest support will advance, will take place two weeks later, on January 26-27.