Friday, 25 April 2014

MEP Roithová meets condition for running for Czech president

ČTK |
4 October 2012

Prague, Oct 3 (CTK) - Czech Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) MEP Zuzana Roithova has gained signatures of 50,000 people supporting her presidential candidacy that are needed for running in the election, a source close to Roithova's campaign confirmed to CTK Wednesday.

The news server iDnes.cz was the first to release the news Wednesday.

Roithova has been the fourth politician that has gathered more than 50,000 signatures. Czech president will be elected directly in January 2013. Until now, the president was chosen by the two houses of parliament.

The favourites of the fight to become the country's third president, after late Vaclav Havel and outgoing President Vaclav Klaus, are former prime ministers Jan Fischer (unaffiliated) and Milos Zeman (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ; previously Social Democrats, CSSD). These two men were the first to gather the required number of signatures.

Last week, former MEP Jana Bobosikova, leader of the extra-parliamentary Sovereignty party, announced that she has reached the signatures needed.

But candidates may be also nominated by a group of lawmakers. In such a case they do not need to prove that they received a substantial support from citizens.

Three candidates have used this opportunity: Senate deputy chairman Premysl Sobotka, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09 chairman) and Social Democrat (CSSD) deputy chairman Jiri Dienstbier.

Roithova, 59, has been a member of the European Parliament since 2004. She was health minister in 1998. Her presidential bid is supported by the KDU-CSL.

The candidates must get officially registered for the presidential election by November 6. Further candidates are still trying to reach the required number of signatures. Among those who might meet the condition are former minister Vladimir Dlouhy (unaffiliated), artist Vladimir Franz (unaffiliated) and activist Tana Fischerova (unaffiliated) seem to have the biggest chances.

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