Thursday, 13 December 2018

ODS senator Kubera not to run for Czech president

26 October 2017

Prague, Oct 25 (CTK) - Czech Senate deputy head Jaroslav Kubera (Civic Democrats, ODS) will not run for president in the January election because his family does not support his candidacy and because he believes that President Milos Zeman will defend his post, he told CTK on Wednesday.

ODS chairman Petr Fiala said earlier on Wednesday Kubera will not run in the forthcoming direct presidential election, though he has enough senators' signatures in support of his bid.

Fiala said the ODS is yet to announce its approach to the direct presidential election.

Kubera said Zeman has more or less the same voters as ANO leader Andrej Babis who clearly won the general election last week.

Kubera, 70, has been a senator since 2000 and the popular mayor of the town of Teplice, north Bohemia, since 1994.

He said in July he had collected enough signatures of senators that enables him to submit his presidential candidacy. He said, nevertheless, that he would yet decide on whether to seek the top state post.

Six months earlier, however, he said on Czech Television that he had failed to persuade his wife to live with him at Prague Castle, the seat of the office of Czech presidents, in case he became the head of state.

"I am not surprised by it and I respect it," Kubera said about his family's disapproval of his possible presidential candidacy.

He said he wants to celebrate with his wife next autumn that they would be living a married life for 50 years.

Kubera also said he did not want to wage a negative campaign. "A negative campaign is unacceptable for me and it will be a must," he said about the campaign before the presidential election.

The signatures of at least 10 senators or 20 deputies or 50,000 people are required for a contender's official registration in the presidential election.

The 50,000-signature limit has already been met by the incumbent President Milos Zeman, who seeks re-election, and two of his rivals, former Science Academy head Jiri Drahos and entrepreneur and lyricist Michal Horacek.

Apart from Kubera, senators' signatures have been gathered by former Czech ambassador to France Pavel Fischer, and deputies' signatures by Defence and Security Industry Association head Jiri Hynek and former Skoda Auto head Vratislav Kulhanek each.

The first round of the presidential elections is scheduled for January 12-13 and the possible second round for January 26-27.

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