Front-runner Presidential Candidate Svejnar Declines Candidacy
The upcoming election in 2013 has prepared another striking moment in the media. For the first time in the history of the Czech Republic the president will be elected directly by the people and not by parliament as in Germany or Austria, where the president is elected in indirect elections.
The next question is, who is going to become the successor of figures like Vaclav Havel, long-term dissident who was jailed by the communists and his counterpart and rival, economist Vaclav Klaus. Vaclav Klaus is a world renowned critic of eco-terrorism and a respected authority in this area.
Nevertheless, the Czech president, although having less executive power than the Czech PM, is still a very important political figure and finding a successor to such two strong men could become a dilemma for the Czech voters.
The Czech goverment has decided to change the Czech constitution so that the president is voted directly. The Czech president is elected every 5 years and can hold the office for a maximum two terms.
Jan Svejnar is a respected economist who was always a first option for those Czechs who wanted to have somebody as smart as Klaus, but with a much friendlier approach to foreign affairs regarding issues like global warming, etc….
Svejnar who spent most of his active life in USA and speaks fluent English has recently declined to run, however. This clears the field for the other candidates:
former PM and ex-Social Democrat, Miloš Zeman (SPOZ), well known by his supporters on the left.
former PM and governor of Czech National Bank, Jan Fisher (Independent), a front-runner and a hot liberal candidate,
Ladislav Jakl (Svobodní), the Czech president´s CIO and chancellor, supported by the Libertarian Party
Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09), current Czech Secretary of State and leader of the conservative party TOP 09
Přemysl Sobotka (ODS), the Senate minority leader elected in ODS primaries by liberal-conservative party ODS (governing party)
Jiří Dientsbier jr. (ČSSD) a popular Senator from Kladno, who is nominated by the Social Democrats. He is said to be the most popular politician in the country.
Jana Bobošíková, a well-know critic of the Lisbon Treatry and a long- term member of the European Parliament