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Zeman-Drahoš TV duel watched by 2.2 million viewers

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Prague, Jan 23 (CTK) – Some 2.2 million viewers were watching the duel of the presidential candidates, President Milos Zeman and academic Jiri Drahos, on Prima TV last night, its moderator Karel Vorisek said at the end of the live broadcast.

The Monday debate on TV Barrandov, in which Zeman appeared solo, was watched by 659,000 people, while some 1.5 viewers followed another debate with only Zeman attending on Nova TV on Sunday night, the website writes, citing Nielsen Admosphere data.

The Public Czech Television (CT) will broadcast a duel between Zeman and Drahos live on Thursday night.

The Czech Republic has a population of 10.5 million.

Zeman previously said he would not take part in any debates with his challengers. But when he and Drahos advanced to the runoff, Zeman said he would appear in maximally two television debates with Drahos. Drahos agreed to meet him in two duels only.

Before the first direct presidential election five years ago, there were more media duels of both finalists.

Zeman and his rival Karel Schwarzenberg, former foreign minister, met twice in debates on CT and Czech Radio as well as once on Nova and Prima Cool channels each and in an online debate held by the portal. Their discussions were followed by more than one million people, while the final duel on CT was watched by 1.612 million over 15.

Zeman, 73, and former Academy of Sciences head Drahos, 68, advanced from the first round of the presidential election on January 12-13 with almost 39 and 27 percent of the vote, respectively. They will fight for presidency on January 26-27.

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