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People of various experience assist presidential bidders

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Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – There are renowned political and marketing experts as well as unexperienced newcomers among the people who help the nine candidates for Czech president in their respective campaigns ahead of the January election, it ensues from their answers to CTK’s question.

Former Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos and businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek, who are considered the main rivals of the incumbent President Milos Zeman, each have a strong teams of assistants, while Zeman has not chosen any new assistants to help him.

A part of the candidates are cooperating on their campaigns with external agencies.

Drahos’s team has been led by Jakub Kleindienst, former official of the Central Bohemia Region who later became an entrepreneur. Drahos’s office is headed by former high state and bank official Pavel Kolar, and Drahos’s assistant for media will be Lenka Pastorcakova. Drahos’s team, which is far more numerous, is cooperating with the Ceska produkcni advertising agency.

The coordinator of Horacek’s team is Jan Kralik, a producer experienced in organising big cultural events. Horacek introduced Kralik on his website along with interpreter Viktor Janis as his adviser and journalist and analyst Jiri Taborsky as his spokesman.

Other aides to Horacek are responsible for social networks, the contact campaign and production, while the Ewing Group secures a visual presentation of his campaign and organises events outside Prague.

Zeman, who is the election favourite, previously said he would not conduct any election campaign. That is why he would neither use a PR agency nor form a special team of aides, his assistant Barbora Filipkova said.

Former PM Mirek Topolanek, who also runs for president, told CTK that the head of his election team is himself. “The whole of my team is only being formed,” he said.

Topolanek’s personal secretary is Gabriela Kloudova, former local politician, while former MEP Edvard Kozusnik is in charge of organising Topolanek’s campaign. Daniel Vermirovsky and Dana Makrlikova are his team’s analyst and spokeswoman, respectively.

Topolanek plans cooperation with a media and creative agency.

Pavel Fischer, a former ambassador running for president, told CTK that he has relied on “professionals with a good reputation” in this respect. The manager of his campaign is Jiri Jirkovsky, who used to head transnational companies. Writer Alena Jezkova is in charge with relations to media. Fischer plans to use a PR agency’s services to a lesser extent.

Former Skoda Auto head Vratislav Kulhanek said the head of his presidential campaign is Vladimir Sulc, while Pavel Sobek is in charge of marketing. His team also includes Tereza Kodlova and Jiri Wolf, long-standing spokesman for the Prague City Hall.

The head of Kulhanek’s election committee is Pavel Sehnal, chairman of the marginal Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) and Kulhanek’s main sponsor. Kulhanek does not plan to use an advertisement agency’s services.

Presidential bidder Jiri Hynek, head of the Defence and Security Industry Association, mainly relies on assistance by The Realists party. “I head my election team myself. The campaign’s coordinator is Jiri Vitek, while Jana Malikova and David Cernohorsky are in charge of the media and communication, and marketing expert Daniel Bartek helps me with the content of the campaign,” Hynek said.

Doctor Marek Hilser, for his part, has a team headed by Petr Daus, former director of business companies and former head of an NGO promoting the installation of a statue of Vaclav Havel in Prague. Former journalist Pavla Cechova is in charge of PR and social networks, along with Tomas Nakladal and Patrik Kuba.

Petr Hannig, who heads The Resonable, an extra-parliamentary party, said he has been organising his campaign himself while relying on the advice of experts in individual branches. Hannig said Adam B. Bartos, who spoke for him previously and who has been prosecuted for denying and approving genocide, will not be his official adviser “due to the media attacks,” but will help him with the technical aspects of the campaign and with his contacts with media.

“I don’t feel like constantly explaining to the media that if he was radical in the past, he is no longer radical now,” Hannig said, referring to Bartos.

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