Friday, 12 October 2018

Zeman to address congress of Okamura's anti-EU movement

ČTK |
5 December 2017

Prague, Dec 4 (CTK) - Czech President Milos Zeman will deliver an address to the participants in the congress of the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement on Saturday, December 9, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK on Monday.

SPD leader Tomio Okamura confirmed that Zeman would take part in the congress.

"It is good that the head of state will speak at the national conference of a grouping which has the third highest number of MPs," Okamura said.

The SPD has 22 members in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies.

Okamura said he does not know what Zeman plans to tell to the SPD delegates.

He said the conference would deal with the government-forming negotiations and other talks after the October general elections, the 2018 local and Senate elections and the forthcoming meeting of European anti-migrant parties in which French Marine Len Pen and Dutch Geert Wilders are to participate.

One month ago, Okamura said the SPD would decide whether it was going to support some presidential candidate at its congress. Until then, it was speculated that Okamura himself would run for president in the direct election scheduled for January. Shortly after a meeting with Zeman, Okamura announced that the SPD will produce no presidential candidate of its own.

Zeman is defending his office and he is the favourite of the presidential election.

Okamura presented the conditions that a presidential candidate must meet to win support from the SPD: support for direct democracy, rejection of illegal migrants and the promotion of Czech national interests.

Ovcacek said on Monday that Zeman's speech at the SPD congress is not part of the presidential campaign.

Zeman claims that he wages no campaign before the presidential election. For this reason, no costs have been covered from his transparent account until now. However, Zeman tours the country and has a regular interview on a commercial TV once a week and billboards and leaflets promoting his candidacy appeared.

When asked about the billboards, Ovcacek said they were not made on Zeman's initiative.

Billboards promoting a book on Zeman of which Ovcacek is one of the authors recently appeared as well.

Zeman also refuses to take part in public discussions with other presidential candidates.

Apart from the SPD, the Communist Party (KSCM) set the conditions for its possible support for a presidential candidate. The Communists want the president to talk to them, respect their programme, support the taxation of the financial compensation paid to churches and the possibility of deciding key issues in referendums. The KSCM is known for having more disciplined voters than other parties.

KSCM deputy chairman Josef Skala recently said he expects the presidential candidate interested in winning support from the Communists to meet the party's broad leadership and ask for the support.

Ovcacek said he has no information about a planned meeting between Zeman and the KSCM.

Before the previous election in 2013, Zeman asked for the KSCM's support.

Copyright 2015 by the Czech News Agency (ČTK). All rights reserved.
Copying, dissemination or other publication of this article or parts thereof without the prior written consent of ČTK is expressly forbidden. The Prague Daily Monitor is not responsible for its content.