Saturday, 18 November 2017

Poll: Zeman favourite candidate for presidential election

ČTK |
3 November 2017

Prague, Nov 2 (CTK) - Current President Milos Zeman is most popular of the presidential candidates with 33 percent of supporters, while one fifth of respondents prefer either former Academy of Sciences chairman Jiri Drahos or businessman Michal Horacek, an opinion poll by STEM/MARK agency shows.

Less than one half of the respondents think Zeman will win the election and less than one fifth thinks Drahos will win it. About one tenth of the respondents think Horacek will win. One fourth of the respondents were unable to answer this question.

Zeman's supporters are typically over 60, with lower education, supporters of a direct presidential vote and they would favour increased presidential powers, the poll reveals.

Supporters of Drahos are university graduates, often living in Prague. Horacek's supporters are frequently women and middle-aged people (30-60), the poll indicates.

The proclaimed 90-percent participation rate in the February 2018 presidential election is high and above the average and 80 percent of the respondents also support the direct vote.

In the last presidential election in 2013, however, voter turn-out was about 60 percent.

Zeman and Horacek are also the best known of all candidates. More than one half of the respondents are acquainted with Drahos and about one fourth know former Skoda car maker head Vratislav Kulhanek or doctor and activist Marek Hilser.

Senior citizens, people from Prague and those with rightist views show a higher interest in the list of candidates.

"It is likely that these people are trying to seek an alternative to the currently leading candidates," the poll authors have stated.

The young, those with centrist views and people with lower education, on the other hand, are less interested in the list. It may be they have already decided whom they would vote for, the poll authors have written.

The poll also reveals that the ideal president would be a man between 40-65 years, a diplomat, politician or economist. Czechs would prefer he had at least some experience with top level politics, but he should not be directly supported by any strong political party. He should be a moral authority, active, dignified, representative and independent, the poll shows.

"The president's look is also of significance, as more than three quarters of people think it matters," the poll authors have noted.

Regarding his powers, one half thinks they should remain as they are, while slightly less than one half of the respondents think they should be reinforced.

The poll was conducted among 711 eligible voters aged 18 or more in October.

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