Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Hilšer wins support from senators, can run for president

ČTK |
3 November 2017

Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) - Physician and activist Marek Hilser, 41, can run for Czech president because he has won support from 11 senators and he will submit his application for registration for the January direct presidential election to the Interior Ministry on Thursday, he told journalists.

The ministry checks whether the presidential candidates have met all the requirements and it either confirms or rejects the candidacy. The deadline for submitting the applications is November 7.

Along with Hilser, eight candidates have received the necessary support from lawmakers (at least 10 senators or 20 lower house deputies) or citizens (at least 50,000 signatures) so far, including entrepreneur Michal Horacek, former diplomat Pavel Fischer, arms industry official Jiri Hynek and former Skoda Auto chief Vratislav Kulhanek.

The biggest favourites, incumbent President Milos Zeman and former Science Academy head Jiri Drahos, have not submitted their applications yet, however, they received more than 50,000 signatures from people already some time ago.

Hilser said he gained 43,850 signatures from citizens, which was not enough.

He said he decided to ask senators to support him because he did not want the support from thousands of ordinary people to be in vain.

Hilser told CTK last month it would be one of his priorities as president that the Czech Republic remain tied to democratic Western European countries.

He warned against the threat of a monopoly on political power being created and he emphasised the crucial role of civic society. He said he would like to open a debate on ways to improve the country's healthcare and school sectors faced with a crisis.

Hilser said on Thursday the country needs a president who would respect the constitution and be its advocate, who would firmly stand by the public and would not be a puppet of millionaires and backstage players. "I believe that our society needs a president who will support the weak because the strong will always find a way," he said.

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