Monday, 20 August 2018

Three former candidates back Drahoš in presidential race

ČTK |
22 January 2018

Brno, Jan 21 (CTK) - Michal Horacek, Marek Hilser and Pavel Fischer, three unsuccessful candidates from the first round of the presidential election, openly supported Jiri Drahos in his duel with incumbent President Milos Zeman at a public rally in a crowded local cultural room on Sunday.

All of them appeared for the first time together in public after the first round, although the trio expressed support for Drahos immediately after it.

Gaining 26.6 percent and 38.6 percent of the vote, Drahos and Zeman advanced to the runoff due on January 26-27.

"I am starting a fight and I ask you all to join me. Go to the polling stations and vote for anyone but Zeman," Drahos, a former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, said at the rally.

He said he believed Zeman did not have the force to lead the nation in the years to come if need be.

"I believe that I do have the force and that I will lead the nation," Drahos said.

On Saturday, Drahos toured the Central Moravian Zlin Region, while on Sunday he left for Brno and then to Ostrava, north Moravia.

"I did not hesitate a second to whom to pass the heart that is to be carried to the Prague Castle [seat of Czech heads of state]," doctor and human rights activist Hilser said.

Heart was a symbol of former president Vaclav Havel.

"This is the opposite of hatred, wrath and contempt," he added.

"I can see hope in Drahos. Unlike Zeman, he is a man of the future," Hilser said.

Fischer said in the election, Czechs should not give the keys to their country to anyone else.

"I am ready to help wherever needed," Fischer, a former diplomat, said.

Businessman and lyricist Horacek said he wished the desire for a more cultivated political milieu came true.

Drahos was backed by a number of artists and politicians on the stage.

In the first round of the elections, Fischer won 10.2 percent, Horacek 9.2 percent and Hilser, most surprisingly, 8.8 percent of the vote.

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