Babis Denies Zeman Deal for Mutual Support – ANO Backs NO Candidate for President

Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) – The Czech ANO movement’s internal vote on whom of the nine presidential candidates ANO should support will not take place, as a result of which ANO, the winner of the October general election, will not support any of them, server Lidovky.cz writes today, citing ANO chairman Andrej Babis.


The internal vote will not be held due to a lack of time, the server writes, citing Babis, who was appointed prime minister today.


Originally, ANO members were to vote on whether ANO will field its own candidate in the January direct presidential election. Outgoing Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) was mentioned most often in this connection.


After the general election, however, Babis said ANO would not field its own candidate and that the party’s internal referendum might choose one of the running candidates as the one to enjoy its support.


However, the vote will not take place.


“We have no longer time to do this, we have other tasks to deal with…We have to work on the government’s policy statement,” said Babis, whose ANO minority government is to be appointed on December 13.


“Everybody is literate, they will decide on their own, without waiting for Babis’s opinion,” he added, referring to ANO members.


Incumbent President Milos Zeman will seek re-election for another five-year term.


Babis has repeatedly denied that there is an agreement between him and Zeman on mutual support.


Zeman, who is an election favourite, will face eight rivals in the presidential race, out of whom former Science Academy head Jiri Drahos and lyricist and businessman Michal Horacek seem to have the biggest chance to succeed.


The first round of the presidential election is due on January 12-13, a possible runoff vote two weeks later.