Milos Zeman standing on podium with Tomio Okamaru at SPD rally


Pavel Fischer Blasts Babis and Zeman for Holocaust Denial Silence

Prague, (CTK) – Failed presidential candidate Pavel Fischer, former Czech ambassador in France, wants to play the role of “a shadow president” who would comment on the steps of the recently re-elected President Milos Zeman, he told CTK today.


Fischer said his presidential bid showed to him that he can appeal to a high number of voters in a relatively short time.


He said he may be running for president in the next election. “But I do not know when the election would be held. I do not now the topics and whether a person of my type would be fitting then,” he added.


The next presidential election is due in 2023, but some observers claim that Zeman, 73, will not be able to serve his whole next mandate due to his health problems.


Fischer said Czech society seemed sleepy and lethargic to him, but enormous interest in public affairs arouse before the presidential election.


Fischer won 10.2 percent in the first round of the direct presidential election in January. Zeman defeated academic Jiri Drahos in the runoff election.


Fischer and two other candidates, who ended in the third, fourth and fifth positions supported Drahos before the runoff. Fischer dismissed the view that they failed to convince their supporters to cast their votes for Drahos. It was Drahos himself who did not convince the voters, he said.


He criticised Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) for not reacting to the statements of far-right populist Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) leader Tomio Okamura and SPD MP Miloslav Rozner who challenged the existence of the concentration camp for the Roma people in Lety, south Bohemia.


“If the president and prime minister remain silent, it means that they seem to need the votes that deny it (the Roma Holocaust), that they need them politically,” Fischer said.


Fischer said Zeman won the presidential election thanks to the fear he spread. Zeman convinced the voters that they need not fear because he would protect them, he added.


He said Zeman was also permanently addressing his voters for a long time.


Zeman was able to use the weaknesses of his rivals and he proved that he can use the negotiations about a new Czech government and space in the media for his own benefit, Fischer said.


He said Zeman pretended he had nothing to do with the campaign for his re-election that was led by his allies. “This is not an example of an open political culture,” he said.


People around Zeman fought in a way that went against the spirit of the Czech constitution, though they were not illegal. “These things are too serious to act as if nothing happened,” he said.


Fischer said more political parties asked him to run for them for senator in the autumn. He said he would announce his decision next week.


Drahos and Marek Hilser, another failed candidate, were considering running for senator, too. Failed candidate Michal Horacek rejected such a possibility.


Fischer said the Senate could help stop the forces that “want to weaken the parliament, promote some changes in the constitution or stronger direct democracy which was unwise.”


He did not rule out that he might return to diplomacy in future. He said he did not receive any offer and is not asking for it. “The idea that I should defend the views of Zeman somewhere (abroad) is depressing especially now,” Fischer said.