Published On: Thu, Jan 11th, 2018

Czech election: Might liberal centrist declare shock president win?

The fraught vote, which is able to happen on Friday January 12, sees the right-wing incumbent president battle it out with eight different candidates for a shot on the presidency.

However though Mr Zeman is polling effectively because the vote opens, he may very well be dramatically unseated by a liberal centrist.

Though he’s at present in pole place, based on opinion polls, it’s unlikely Mr Zeman will in an outright majority at this stage.

A run-off stage in two weeks time will possible see him go head-to-head with liberal pro-European Jiří Drahoš – and there’s a actual likelihood he might lose.

A January survey by Czech Tv confirmed Zeman dropping a run-off to Drahoš, who beat him with 48.5 % to 44 %.

The 2 males are polar opposites.

Mr Zeman echoes the rhetoric of populist leaders in Hungary and Poland, and is at odds with the European Fee over obligatory refugee quotas, having solely taken 12 refugees since 2015.

However centrist Mr Drahoš has referred to as for Prague to “play a extra lively position within the EU”, and would fortunately conform with refugee quotas.

Mr Zeman additionally has vehement anti-Muslim views, and has referred to the 2015 refugee disaster as an “organised invasion of Europe”. He additionally claims it’s “unattainable to combine” Muslims into Czech society.

Political analyst Jiří Pehe instructed AFP: “The vote exhibits a broader battle, it exhibits how society is polarised.

“It’s a conflict between… the post-communist a part of society represented by Zeman and the opposite half, say, trendy, pro-Western, which merely doesn’t need this president any extra.”

And a Drahoš win might scupper Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš’ plans for the approaching 12 months.

Mr Babiš is a key ally of Mr Zeman’s and would proceed to tack to the fitting along with his coverage plans, however this is able to make it laborious to work with Drahoš as president.

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