Jiri Drahos Announces Senate Bid

Jiri Drahos

Prague, June 1 (CTK) – Academic Jiri Drahos, the unsuccessful finalist of the January presidential runoff, will be running in the autumn Senate election in the Prague 4 ward with support of the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents (STAN) and Greens, he told reporters today.


Former Science Academy (AV) chairman Drahos, 69, was beaten by the current President Milos Zeman, 73, in the second election round.


At a press conference today, Drahos thanked for the formation of the coalition to support his candidacy.


In the spring, Drahos founded the Jointly for the Czech Republic group with which he would like to offer solutions to significant challenges.


He said he supported pro-Western and liberal values.


He added that in the Senate, he would like to focus on lifelong learning and a better media and financial literacy of the public.


Drahos said after the presidential election that he would like to remain active in public life.


He is running for the Senate, the upper house of Czech parliament, in Prague 4 where he was long living.


As his candidacy is supported by several parties, its is not clear yet which senator group he would join if he succeeded in the election.


“We have agreed to keep this open so far. If I were elected, we would be discussing which group I would enter,” Drahos said.


The current senator for Prague 4 is Drahos’s former colleague from the AV, former head of its Experimental Medicine Institute Eva Sykova. She was elected for the Social Democrats (CSSD) as an unaffiliated candidate in 2012.


Drahos competed with Sykova in the election of the AV president and won in 2009.


In May 2016, Drahos dismissed Sykova as the institute’s head over a scandal with the stem cell treatment. The media reported that the institute was taking money from some patients during the clinical trials, though the participation in them should be free of charge.


Other unsuccessful presidential candidates from the January election are also running for the Senate, such as former diplomat Pavel Fischer and physician and activist Marek Hilser.