Should Tradition or Law Define Position of First Lady? Candidates Weigh In

Prague, Dec 24 (CTK) – The nine Czech presidential candidates are not for a special law to define the position of the First Lady and they are of the view that such a legal regulation is not necessary, they said in a CTK poll released today.


Only incumbent President Milos Zeman, who will seek re-election in January, did not answer the poll questions.


Businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek does not agree with a special law on the president’s wife.


“The president’s wife has a great power based on the symbolic character of her position and I would leave it up to the individual First Lady to use this in the best possible way,” Horacek said.


He added that his wife, if she became the First Lady, would do what she had been doing for long, focus on care for disabled and abandoned children, the dying and other vulnerable people.


Former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos said he cannot see a reason for a new law on the president’s wife. He added that his wife never cared for any privileges.


Physician and activist Marek Hilser said this was not his priority and that he would not push for such a law either.


Former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer, former aide to the first Czech president Vaclav Havel (1936-2011), said a law on the First Lady was unnecessary. The Presidential Office provides the basic service for her and neither a law nor the constitution needs to be changed over this, he added.


Former Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman and ex-PM Mirek Topolanek does not want to change a law to define the status of the president’s wife. He said if he succeeded in the presidential election, his wife would certainly choose to be a “less visible First Lady.”


Neither Defence and Security Industry Association President Jiri Hynek, running for the Realists marginal party, nor Skoda Auto former board chairman Vratislav Kulhanek would like to change a law due to the position of the president’s wife.


“I do not know how this could benefit citizens, so I am against it,” Kulhanek said.


Musician Petr Hannig, head of the marginal Reasonable party, points out that the president is head of state and that the first Czechoslovak president T. G. Masaryk (1918-35) was not pushing for anything like that either.


The first round of the presidential election will be held on January 12-13, 2018. If none of the candidates received an absolute majority of over 50 percent, the second round to which the two most successful candidates from the first round will advance, would be held two weeks later.