Opposition Leaders Cast Their Votes For Drahos

Sucha Loz, South Moravia,/Prague, Plzen, West Bohemia, Jan 12 (CTK) – Petr Gazdik, leader of the Mayors and Independents (STAN), and TOP 09 leader Jiri Pospisil voted for the former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos in the first round of the presidential election today, they told journalists.


Gazdik said Drahos was an experienced personality with no scandals and blunders.


“The Czech Republic needs a change. It should be made clear that we belong to the West, the EU. We need international prestige and the head of state should not be a shame,” Gazdik said.


“We need the head of state to join, not to divide. The person should discuss problems rather than creating them,” he added.


Gazdik said both Drahos and incumbent President Milos Zeman were standing a real chance of advancing to the second round of the vote held today and on Saturday.


Pospisil said after casting his vote Drahos was a pro-Western politician who would join Czech society.


Pospisil said he had opted for Drahos because he had a chance of defeating Zeman in the second round.


“Drahos fulfils two basic conditions. He is a pro-Western politician and a man who will cement Czech society,” he added.


“If elected, he will not be a president dividing Czech society, creating artificial disputes and politically benefiting from them,” Pospisil said.


The Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) officially backed Drahos before the vote.


“I hope the candidate I elected will win and that we will have a dignified president who will be no shame for the Czech Republic for five years,” party leader Pavel Belobradek said.


“I will not disclose whom I voted for. Anyway, we have recommended to our voters that they think of the candidacy of Drahos,” Belobradek said.


Pirates leader Ivan Bartos said he had voted for doctor and activist Marek Hilser.


Bartos said he best corresponded with the values that were close to him.


The Pirates as a party did not express a clear-cut support to any of the nine candidates before the vote.