Fateful Czech presidential elections get underway

Fateful Czech presidential elections get underway

Published at: 2018-01-12 08:37 | Author: CIJ Journal
The first of two rounds of voting for the Czech Republic's next president begins today. The result of the poll could have an immediate impact on the country's political landscape, even though the role of president in this parliamentary democracy is primarily symbolic. The current president Miloš Zeman appears to support the the winner of the last paliamentary elections, ANO. However, ANO's leader Andrej Babiš has become something of a political pariah after a scandal erupted over his company's alleged misuse of EU funds. He's fighting to create a minority government but failed earlier this week to win a vote of confidence. If Zeman fails to win a second term of office as president, Babiš is unlikely to enjoy any political cover from the Prague Castle. According to the last poll carried out before voting began, Zeman appeared to be on the way to a first round victory with over 40 percent of the vote. But under Czech rules, if no candidate wins more than 50 percent, a second round with just two candidates is held. Polls suggest that Zeman would lose in the second round to the academic Jiří Drahoš, a political newcomer.

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