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ANO, STAN heads consider Drahoš dignified candidate

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Prague, March 28 (CTK) – Former Czech Science Academy chairman Jiri Drahos, 68, is a dignified presidential candidate, the heads of the government movement ANO and the opposition Mayors and Independents (STAN), Andrej Babis and Petr

Gazdik, respectively, agreed yesterday.

They commented on Drahos’s announcement that he will be running in the direct presidential election next January.

Gazdik said he will recommend to his movement to support Drahos.

ANO will make a decision on the candidate in a referendum, Babis said.

Jiri Ovcacek, spokesman for incumbent President Milos Zeman tweeted that Drahos is a candidate of the media and an artificial PR product.

“I consider Mr Drahos a serious person. Mr Drahos does not seek support of any party or movement, which his spokesman has also confirmed. The ANO movement will hold an internal referendum. Our priority now is the (autumn) general election,” Babis told CTK.

Gazdik said he will discuss support for Drahos with the junior government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).

STAN and the KDU-CSL will form a coalition with one name, logo and manifesto before the autumn general election.

Ovcacek wrote that Drahos’s candidature is no big surprise.

He tweeted that the media as well as political parties “support him with enthusiasm”.

Ovcacek mentioned the opposition conservative TOP 09 and the surroundings of Bohuslav Sobotka, prime minister and Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman.

“The direct election will be a choice between a candidate of the citizens of our beautiful country and a candidate of the media, who is an artificial PR product,” Ovcacek wrote.

Zeman announced his candidature to his supporters on March 9. One day later, he said he will not attack his rivals and that he will not take part in any election debates with them.

Now, Zeman has a regular weekly programme on the Barrandov commercial television station.

Another presidential candidate, lyricist and businessman Michal Horacek, told server that Drahos will be a candidate of political parties and that he will have to repay their support to them.

He said he wants to collect 150,000 signatures in his support and that he will pay his campaign by himself.

The CSSD also wants to choose its candidate in a party referendum. A part of Social Democrats stand close to Zeman, a former party member.

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