Sunday, 20 April 2014

Poll: Fischer would win first round of presidential election

11 July 2012

Prague, July 10 (CTK) - Former Czech prime minister Jan Fischer would win the first round of direct presidential elections, if held now, gaining 32 percent of the vote, according to a June poll released by the Median agency.

Fischer, now a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development vice-president, headed the Czech caretaker cabinet of unaffiliated experts from April 2009 to July 2010.

Milos Zeman, former prime minister in 1998-2002 and then Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman, would end second in the first election round with 17 percent of the vote, followed by Jan Svejnar, liberal economist who has not yet definitively confirmed his candidacy for president.

The turnout in the direct presidential polls would be 67 percent, 6.5 percentage points more than the turnout showed by a similar poll in May.

Fischer's preferences have fallen by four percentage points since May, while the preferences of Zeman and Svejnar have risen by 4 percentage points each.

"This is also owing to the withdrawal [from the presidential contest] by [entrepreneur] Tomio Okamura who has announced his candidacy in the [autumn] Senate elections," Median said.

Premysl Sobotka, candidate of the senior ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS), has ended fourth among the favourites of the first round of the presidential election, with 7.5 percent support, followed by senior opposition CSSD deputy chairman Jiri Dienstbier with 6 percent and Foreign Minister and junior ruling TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg with 5.5 percent.

Czechs will elect a new president in early 2013 when Vaclav Klaus's second and last possible term expires. Until now, Czech presidents have been elected by the two houses of parliament.

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