Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Former Czech Science Academy head Drahoš to run for president

29 March 2017

Prague, March 28 (CTK) - Former Czech Science Academy head Jiri Drahos, 68, announced yesterday he will be running for president in the direct election next January, Jakub Kleindienst, head of Drahos's election team, confirmed for CTK the information carried by server

"The major reason for my candidature are my fears for the fate of modern Czech democracy. I am not indifferent to the mounting extermism and populism and to certain civic apathy in relation to the fundamental democratic values," Drahos wrote in a press release.

Kleindienst said Drahos will be running as an independent candidate and that he will not make use of the opportunity to become an official candidate of a specific political party or movement.

"Being a non-party member throughout my life, I want to be an authentic independent president of the Czech Republic," Kleindienst quoted Drahos as saying.

Kleindienst said Drahos was long considering the candidature before he made the decision.

According to the media, Drahos turned to some businesspeople before he announced his candidature. Scientists and other known personalities could also support him.

Daily Lidove noviny (LN) mentioned yesterday Jablotron firm owner Dalibor Dedek, Martin Wichterle, businessman from the Wikow engineering group, and astrophysicist Jiri Grygar, winner of the UNESCO Kalinga Prize.

Drahos will compete in the election with incumbent President Milos Zeman, who announced he will be defending the post in early March.

His spokesman Jiri Ovcacek tweeted yesterday that Drahos's candidature is no surprise and that media and politicians support him.

Other candidates include lyricist and businessman Michal Horacek, physician and activist Marek Hilser and businessman Igor Sladek.

Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) is also spoken about as a possible candidate.

Drahos graduated from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. In 2003 he was appointed professor. From 1996 he headed the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals e of the Czech Academy of Sciences (AV), later became AV deputy chairman. He headed it from March 2009 until March 24, 2017.

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