Thursday, 24 April 2014

Unions speak out against Schwarzenberg for president

ČTK |
18 January 2013

Prague, Jan 17 (CTK) - Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09 chairman) is unacceptable as a candidate for Czech president, CMKOS umbrella trade union leader Jaroslav Zavadil told CTK, adding that the CMKOS will be considering whether to directly support Milos Zeman.

The CMKOS council will hold a meeting on the presidential election on Monday, Zavadil said.

He said the council will issue a statement that Schwarzenberg is unacceptable as president.

Zavadil added that he himself will cast his ballot for Zeman.

The final round is due on January 25-26.

"Nobody can expect the CMKOS to support Schwarzenberg. He was the spiritual father of the church restitution. He has been a member of a government in which he contributed to the pension reform. He also approved of the VAT raising," Zavadil said.

In the past few days, Schwarzenberg was backed by the small Green Party, the leadership of the government Civic Democrats (ODS) and by two presidential candidates who did not advance from the election's first round last weekend, Premysl Sobotka (ODS) and Zuzana Roithova (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL).

Former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman (Party of Citizens' Rights, SPOZ) won support from the leftist opposition - the Social Democrats (CSSD), the Communists (KSCM) and the National Socialists (NS-LEV21) of Jiri Paroubek.

Both Paroubek and Zeman are former CSSD leaders who left the party.

Jan Fischer, who was considered a favourite of the presidential election along with Zeman but ended in the third position, closely followed by the CSSD candidate Jiri Dienstbier, has not backed any of the two successful candidates. He considers neither of them "independent," he said.

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