Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Zeman to announce decision on his candidacy on March 10

ČTK |
11 January 2017

Prague, Jan 10 (CTK) - Czech President Milos Zeman, who will turn 73 in September, will announce whether he will be defending his presidency at a press conference on March 10, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told Parlamentni listy on Tuesday.

On the same day, the election congress of the Social Democrats (CSSD), of which Zeman was a member in the past, will start.

The party is not united in its stance on Zeman and it wages a debate on whether it would be more beneficial to come close to him, or not.

"At the moment, we plan that the president will give a crucial press conference on March 10. We will confirm the date sufficiently long ahead," Ovcacek said.

Zeman was elected head of state in the first direct presidential election in the country in January 2013 and inaugurated in March.

His five-year term in office expires in March 2018.

Zeman has long promised to announce the decision oh his candidacy in March 2017.

In the past months, people from his surroundings said they were convinced that Zeman would decide to be defending his mandate.

However, the media has pointed to his health troubles of late.

Zeman suffers form deteriorated walking, which is caused by polyfunctional neuropathy. He has problems to walk the steps and cannot cover a longer distance on foot.

His programme has been adapted to his health condition.

Zeman recently described his health condition as stable.

Zeman will turn 73 in September.

So far only businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek has announced his intention to run for president, along with businessman Igor Sladek and physician and civic activist Marek Hilser.

The Kromeriz Appeal group, established in May, has also presented several possible presidential candidates. The appeal was signed by more than 11,000 people so far.

The group wants to support a presidential candidate who would defend fundamental democratic principles and values.

It has so far proposed MEP for TOP 09 Jiri Pospisil, diplomat Petr Kolar, former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer and Hilser as potential candidates for president. However, except for Hilser, none of the proposed men has confirmed the intention to run for president.

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