Friday, 20 July 2018

Poll: Czechs assess president's candidate Drahoš better than Zeman

5 June 2017

Prague, June 3 (CTK) - Forty percent of Czechs are of the view that Jiri Drahos, 68, former head of the Science Academy (AV), would be a good president, while only 33 percent think so about current President Milos Zeman, according to a Median poll conducted for public Czech Radio and released today.

Zeman's popularity has dropped by 6 percentage points since April.

Moreover, public support for the direct presidential election has slightly dropped.

Zeman is the first Czech president elected directly in January 2013. His five-term expires in early 2018. He announced that he would seek re-election.

Another presidential candidate, Michal Horacek, 64, lyricist and businessman, ended third as 28 percent of the respondents say he would be a good president.

Physician and activist Marek Hilser, 41, who also wants to run for head of state, is assessed positively by 18 percent of the polled.

At present, 79 percent of people support the preservation of the direct presidential election, which is 5 percentage points fewer than last December.

Election turnout would be 70 percent. A higher turnout would be among university graduates and people over 60, according to the poll.

In late May, Median released another poll showing that Zeman lost part of voters due to his stance during the recent government crisis. On the contrary, the number of Drahos's supporters has increased.

Despite that, Zeman still enjoys the highest support (35 percent) out of the known presidential candidates if the election were held now.

Drahos's preferences have risen from 17 to 24 percent.

Public trust in the president and the government dropped in mid-May in connection with the governments crisis, according to the latest CVVM poll.

Zeman was trusted by 41 percent of the poll, while public trust in him amounted to 55 percent in the previous two months. On the contrary, 56 percent expressed mistrust in Zeman, compared with 42 percent in April.

Trust in the coalition government decreased to 23 percent from 40 percent in April and it was mistrusted by 74 percent in May, compared with 56 percent in April. This has been the worst ever result of the coalition cabinet of Bohuslav Sobotka, comprised of his Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

The first round of the next presidential election should be held on January 19-20, 2018 at the latest. The Senate chairman will announce the exact date.

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