Prague, Oct 26 (CTK) – Petr Hannig, 71, a musician and head of The Reasonable extra-parliamentary party, has 20 signatures of deputies in support of his candidacy for Czech president, he told CTK on Thursday, adding that he gained support from both members of the outgoing and the newly-elected Chamber of Deputies.
The new Chamber emerged from the October 20-21 general election, when its members’ mandate began. The mandate of the previous Chamber’s members expired on Thursday.
Hannig said he submitted the signatures to the Interior Ministry on Wednesday.
Hannig announced his plan to run for president in mid-July.
He told CTK on Thursday that he had tried to collect 50,000 people’s signatures, one of the three alternatives required from a candidate, the other two being the signatures of at least 20 deputies or at least ten senators.
Hannig admitted that he has failed to collect so many people’s signatures, which is why he opted for the path of lawmakers’ support.
He has gathered the signatures of 20 deputies and wants to gather some more by November 7, which is the deadline for the candidates to apply for registration.
Hannig would not specify the parties whose lawmakers supported him.
He told reporters in July that he wants to follow up the policy of the incumbent president, Milos Zeman, but wants to offer a different behaviour to voters.
Hannig’s candidacy has been also supported by the far-right National Democracy of Adam B. Bartos.
Hannig made repeated unsuccessful attempts at a political entry in the past. Establishing the Common Sense Party, now The Reasonable, he has regularly run in the elections to the lower or the upper house of parliament.
In last year’s Senate election, he won 2.3 percent of the vote in the Prague 11 ward.
In last weekend’s general election, his party won 0.72 percent of the vote.
Four candidates have submitted their candidacy to the Interior Ministry so far, though only three of them have announced it to the public.
The ministry has received four applications so far, its spokeswoman Klara Peknicova told CTK on Thursday, adding that the ministry would not release the contenders’ identity.
In the past days, the required support from deputies was gained by former Skoda Auto head Vratislav Kulhanek and Defence and Security Association chief Jiri Hynek, who announced it to media.
Hannig is the third candidate with MPs’ signatures, but it is not clear who the fourth is.
The required support from Senators has been gained by one candidate, former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer, so far.
Signatures of at least 50,000 people have been successfully gathered by the incumbent President Milos Zeman, entrepreneur and lyricist Michal Horacek, former Science Academy head Jiri Drahos and entrepreneur Vladimir Bostik.
A total of 20 people have shown interest in running for president.