Friday, 19 October 2018

STAN urges other parties to support Drahoš for president

1 November 2017

Prague, Oct 31 (CTK) - The Mayors and Independents (STAN) have called on other Czech parties with programmes close to its to back former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos's candidacy for president, they told CTK on Tuesday, referring to Drahos as one of the few who may defeat the incumbent President Milos Zeman.

The centrist STAN has addressed its call mainly to the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09, the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the Pirates.

"We are convinced that a joint approach by the pro-Western parties should be launched during the upcoming presidential election. Otherwise would become another wasted chance, and the previous calls for cooperation would remain a mere empty phrase," STAN chairman Petr Gazdik said.

STAN deputies' group chairman Jan Farsky said STAN supports Drahos, 68, for his pro-Western orientation.

"As a former chairman of Science Academy, with its number of international achievements, he is one of the few candidates with a real chance to defeat the incumbent head of state," Farsky said.

After the recent general election, the direct presidential election scheduled for January is crucial for the country's further orientation, Farsky said.

Zeman, 73, whom many politicians and observers criticise for inclining to Russia and China at the cost of the EU, seeks re-election for the second five-year term.

None of the nine parties in parliament have fielded their own candidate for president.

Most recently, the election-winning ANO movement decided not to field any, as did the Social Democrats (CSSD) and previously also the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the Communists (KSCM) and TOP 09.

The Pirates' chairman Ivan Bartos, too, indicated that the party does not plan to field a candidate.

The positions of the Civic Democrats (ODS) and the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement are not clear for now.

ODS chairman Petr Fiala said his party will take a position "in time," while SPD chairman Tomio Okamura has not ruled out that he might run for president himself.

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