Zeman Resumes His Non-Campaign: Dodges Fellow Candidates as Campaign Enters Final Stage

Prague, Dec 27 (CTK) – The final phase of the campaign before the January presidential election in the Czech Republic starts today with a two-week deadline within which the candidates can appear on the Czech Television (CT) and Czech Radio (CRo).


They will get five hours in these public media in total.


However, their election messages to voters will be broadcast only after the New Year.


Besides, town mayors and municipal offices’s heads can designate some public areas to display the presidential candidates’ posters. However, they have already been displayed in the commercial poster and billboard space.


CT will broadcast the candidates’ one-minute and 30-second pre-election spots on CT1 and CT2 channels from January 2 until January 10, while one-minute spots will alos appear on CRo (Radiozurnal, Dvojka and Vltava stations) until January 9.


Besides, the radio plans four duels of the presidential candidates until December 30 and their joint debate on January 12.


CT will broadcast three pre-election debates and the final “super debate” scheduled for January 11 to which all candidates will be invited.


The incumbent President Milos Zeman, who seeks re-election, refused to participate in any pre-election debates.


Nine men will compete for head of state in January.


Along with Zeman, the official candidates are former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos, businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek, former Civic Democrat (ODS) chairman and ex-PM Topolanek, Skoda Auto former board chairman Kulhanek (Civic Democratic Alliance, ODA), Defence and Security Industry Association President Hynek (Realists party), musician and producer Hannig, head of the marginal Reasonable party, physician and activist Hilser and former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer.


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 would advance, would be held two weeks later.