Sunday, 20 April 2014

Zeman, Dienstbier ask Communists for support

3 December 2012

Prague, Nov 30 (CTK) - Czech presidential candidates Milos Zeman (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ) and Jiri Dienstbier (Social Democrats, CSSD) came to ask the Communist (KSCM) central committee for support to their candidatures Friday.

The two candidates' answers will be used in the decision-making of the KSCM central committee that will meet on December 8 and give a recommendation to the Communist followers whom to vote for in the January direct election.

"I seek the votes of all citizens irrespective of their party affiliation," Zeman told journalists.

Zeman said 97 percent of people were not in any party and no party leadership could very strongly influence its voters.

"As I am the only real candidate of leftist voters with my attitudes, I consider it natural that I have come to ask for support," Dienstbier said.

Dienstbier said it could not be questioned that the KSCM worked within a democratic system.

He said he could not agree on everything with Communists, but he considered the social dimension of his policy crucial.

Dienstbier said he had also seen the Communists' obliging attitude to the EU.

The Communists have not fielded any candidate of their own.

Analysts believe their recommendation could influence those Communist voters who have not decided whom to support, whether Zeman and Dienstbier or another candidate.

Analyst Jan Herzmann said this would be doubly true if the recommendation were supported by Vladimir Remek, the first and only Czechoslovak cosmonaut from the Communist era, a rather popular figure.

Remek said he had decided to vote for Zeman.

Dienstbier's chances are meagre, while Zeman is one of the favourites of the popular vote set for January 11-12, 2013.

According to the latest polls, some 7 percent of Czechs are ready to vote for Dienstbier, while Zeman is the second most popular candidate with about 25 percent.

Former prime minister Jan Fischer is leading the popularity polls with about 32 percent.

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