Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Far-right leader Vandas pulls out from presidential race

ČTK |
2 November 2012

Prague, Nov 1 (CTK) - Tomas Vandas, leader of the Czech far-right Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS), has given up his candidature for the presidential election, Vandas said yesterday.

Vandas said the petition for his support had been signed by 39,126 Czechs.

He said he was considering lodging a constitutional complaint over inequality between parliamentary and non-parliamentary candidates in the first direct presidential election.

"There is an obvious discrepancy between parliamentary and non-parliamentary candidates," Vandas said.

The presidential candidate's nomination can be submitted by every adult citizen who presents a petition with minimally 50,000 signatures, or is supported by at least 20 deputies or ten senators.

The first two-round direct presidential election in the Czech Republic will be held in January, 2013. Until now, the president has been elected by the two houses of parliament.

The second and last five-year term of current President Vaclav Klaus expires in early March 2013.

Former Czech caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer and former Social Democrat (CSSD) prime minister Milos Zeman are the favourites of the contest with roughly 30 and 20 percent of support, respectively.

Vandas said it was unclear why an extra-parliamentary party could not propose its candidate if the nomination were supported by elected regional or local officials.

Vandas said he considered the almost 40,000 signatures a success that encouraged him for further work.

The extra-parliamentary DSSS is a successor to the outlawed ultra-right Workers' Party (DS).

The Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) dissolved the DS in February 2010, concluding that its programme, ideas and symbols contain the elements of xenophobia, chauvinism, homophobia and racism.

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