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Sme: Topolánek might thwart Zeman’s second presidency

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Bratislava, Nov 9 (CTK) – Former prime minister Mirek Topolanek joined the Czech presidential race in the last moment but he is a strong candidate who might stop the incumbent President Milos Zeman on his path to re-election, Slovak daily Sme wrote on Thursday.

It can even be said that Topolanek, who was the Civic Democrat (ODS) PM in 2006-2009, is an optimal rival to challenge Zeman, the paper writes.

“No one in the Czech Republic is more suitable for stopping a monster,” it says, but adds that the moral standard of presidency is far from close to Topolanek.

Topolanek is much better “equipped” for a battle against Zeman, who seeks re-election in the January direct presidential election, than unaffiliated civic candidates Jiri Drahos, former Science Academy chairman, and Michal Horacek, an entrepreneur and lyricist, the daily says.

According to it, Topolanek’s candidacy might strongly influence the election in which the country’s whole political system will be at stake.

Topolanek was a strong leader, with a strong impact on Czech developments, Sme writes.

The huge paradox is that Topolanek submitted his presidential bid, supported by 10 senators, on the very day when his former close aide Marek Dalik turned up in prison. This also highlights the weakest point of Topolanek, Sme writes.

Dalik was sentenced to five years for a fraud accompanying the purchase of Pandur APCs for the Czech military by Topolanek’s cabinet.

Sme also mentions the Tuscany scandal that broke out in mid-2009 over published photographs showing Topolanek holidaying in Italy together with lobbyists and businessmen.

Even regardless of the Pandur case, a mere mention of Tuscany is enough for Czechs to know that the basic moral level as required from presidency lies to high for the protagonist of so many scandals, Sme writes.

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