53% of Czech Voters Polled Oppose Re-election of President Milos Zeman

Milos Zeman

Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – Current President Milos Zeman is the most popular of the Czech presidential candidates with 45 percent of supporters, followed by former Academy of Sciences chairman Jiri Drahos with 40 percent and businessman Michal Horacek with 32 percent, according to a STEM/MARK opinion poll.


Zeman also has the second highest share of opponents, as 53 percent of those polled said they would not vote for him, while only 21 percent would not vote for Drahos and 52 percent would not vote for Horacek.


Out of the eight candidates surveyed, seven saw the share of their opponents prevail over supporters.


Former prime minister and former Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman Mirek Topolanek has the highest share of opponents (79 percent) and only 12 percent support him, the poll showed.


More than one half of the respondents would not evaluate one half of the candidates at all, saying they did not know them. Most respondents were not acquainted with Jiri Hynek, head of the Defence and Security Industry Association.


When asked to assess individual qualities of the candidates, the respondents expressed the highest preference for Drahos, mostly commending his representative behaviour, dignity and seriousness. On the other hand, Topolanek was rated the worst in most categories with people mainly criticising his inability to remain independent from lobbyists and political parties.


Regarding Zeman, people appreciated his life experience and folksiness and were critical of his ability to represent and of his vitality.


The poll was conducted on 715 eligible voters in November, two months before the direct election due in January.


Out of the 20 applicants who submitted their registration for the presidential election to the Interior Ministry, 11 did not meet the statutory conditions for running for president.


A total of 9 candidates will run in the election.


The pollsters omitted Petr Hannig, head of The Reasonable, an extra-parliamentary party, since it was not clear when the poll was conducted if he was going to meet the statutory terms.


In a press release sent to CTK today, Hannig said the agency harmed him greatly, since people may assume he is not running in the election.


Director of STEM/MARK Jan Tucek responded it was not their intent, offered him an apology and compensation.


Support for presidential candidates (in percent):


Yes No Not Familiar with Candidate
Milos Zeman 45 53 2
Jiri Drahos 40 21 38
Michal Horacek 32 52 16
Pavel Fischer 16 26 59
Mirek Topolanek 12 79 9
Vratislav Kulhanek 12 22 66
Marek Hilser 12 14 74
Jiri Hynek 3 9 88