Thursday, 24 April 2014

Poll: Fischer most popular Czech presidential candidate

7 May 2012

Prague, May 6 (CTK) - Former caretaker cabinet head Jan Fischer is the most popular candidate for Czech president, followed by economist Jan Svejnar, according to the latest poll that Factum Invenio agency released on its website Sunday.

The poll showed that Fischer and Svejnar, who are both unaffiliated candidates, would advance to the second round of the presidential election.

This confirms the results of the previous polls.

Fischer won 24.4 percent of the vote and Svejnar 17.8 percent, Factum Invenio writes.

Fischer, 61, headed an interim government ruling from mid-2009 to mid-2010. He is vice-president of the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He opened his contact office in Prague in March within his campaign.

Former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman, who retired and left the Social Democrats (CSSD) several years ago, is the third most popular candidate (12 percent).

Compared to the poll conducted last month, Zeman won 2 percentage points more now.

On the other hand, support for Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) went down from 8.3 to 5.5 percent over the same period.

Social Democrat deputy chairman Jiri Dienstbier won 5.3 percent of the vote.

Businessman Tomio Okamura, who has Czech, Japanese and Korean roots, won 9.9 percent of the vote and politician Jana Bobosikova, leader of the nationalist Sovereignty party, won 6.6 percent, the Factum Invenio poll showed.

Senate deputy head Premysl Sobotka (Civic Democrats, ODS) won 5 percent, MEP Zuzana Roithova (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) and former central bank governor Zdenek Tuma (close to TOP 09) 3.8 percent each.

The poll showed that two-thirds of Czechs would cast their votes if the presidential election was held now.

The mandate of President Vaclav Klaus will expire in March 2012 and the presidential election will be held at the beginning of next year. The campaign is likely to culminate in the autumn.

The poll confirmed that the candidates of the biggest political parties, the CSSD and the ODS, are not very popular.

The Czechs are to elect their president directly for the first time, however, the law on the direct election procedures has not been passed yet.

Not all of the candidates included in the poll will take part in the contest. Okamura plans to run for senator this autumn, for example.

Svejnar has not definitively decided whether he will run for president. He said he would announce his decision only after this law, without which the election cannot be direct, is passed.

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