Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Schwarzenberg eyes Moravia, Zeman networks ahead of second round

16 January 2013

Prague, Jan 15 (CTK) - Czech Foreign Minister and TOP 09 head Karel Schwarzenberg plans to tour northern Moravia and other regions where his position is weak ahead of the second round of the presidential polls in which he will face former socialist PM Milos Zeman, his team's spokesman Marek Prazak told CTK yesterday.

The team of Zeman (Citizens' Rights Party, SPOZ), on its part, will focus on the social networks, an area in which Schwarzenberg has prevailed so far, the team's spokeswoman Hana Burianova said. adding that Zeman's further campaigning method is still being discussed.

Before the run-off vote due on January 25-26, Schwarzenberg wants to influence and gain support of those who in the first round did not cast their ballots for Zeman but are considering doing so now, Prazak said.

Schwarzenberg also seeks support of those who voted for unaffiliated former PM Jan Fischer or Social Democrat (CSSD) senator Jiri Dienstbier, who ended third and fourth in the first round, respectively.

Schwarzenberg's campaign will be joined by town mayors who will be persuading people to support him.

Mayors and Independents' Movement (STAN) is a close ally of the conservative junior ruling TOP 09.

The TOP 09 leadership yesterday earmarked three million crowns for Schwarzenberg's presidential campaign, according to CTK's information.

Zeman's aides are still tuning-up the form of his further campaign.

Burianova said they will focus on social networks on which Schwarzenberg has been scoring points and attracting numbers of young voters. Zeman will try to lower Schwarzenberg's lead in this respect.

Schwarzenberg's team also reckons with volunteers to distribute leaflets, badges, stickers and posters as from the end of the week.

According to an analysis of the first election round, presented by Prazak, Schwarzenberg would lose to Zeman in the ratio of 46 to 54 percent of the vote if the run-off vote were held now.

Zeman won the first round with 24.21 percent, narrowly followed by Schwarzenberg with 23.40 percent.

Schwarzenberg's candidacy is also to be promoted by a "club night," a free-access series of rock concerts to be held in dozens of clubs all over the country.

($1=19.201 crowns)

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