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Slovak press: Zeman has to activate supporters to be re-elected

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Bratislava, Jan 14 (CTK) – Academic Jiri Drahos seems to be in a better position before the Czech presidential runoff, but Milos Zeman can defend his post if he manages to win new voters and unsettle Drahos’s supporters, Slovak press writes.

Slovak daily Hospodarske noviny says the situation seems to be favourable for Drahos who is supported by four rather strong candidates who did not advance from the first round on Saturday. If the voters of the four candidates followed their recommendation to cast their votes for Drahos, Zeman would go into retirement, the paper writes.

The self-conceited Zeman divided society by controversial statements, indecent behaviour and conflicts with political opponents and media, Hospodarske noviny writes.

Elsewhere, Hospodarske noviny write that the Zeman-Drahos duel resembles the 2014 Slovak presidential election in which current President Andrej Kiska, a man with little political experience then, managed to defeat a political matador, Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Zeman is aware of the need to activate his supporters and potential voters far more than he has done until now if he wants to remain the head of state, Dennik N writes.

Unlike the rather bland Drahos, Zeman is skilful debater and natural populist who is good in lies, blows below the belt and manipulations, and his voters like it or at least do not mind it, the daily writes.

Zeman is likely to abuse his post for campaigning for the money of the taxpayers. He can count on support from ANO leader Andrej Babis, the Communists (KSCM), the far-right SPD movement of Tomio Okamura and a part of the Social Democrats (CSSD), Dennik N said.

A smear campaign full of false news, conspirations and dirty personal attacks can be expected, the paper writes.

If Czechs do not want their country to be controlled by a pragmatic alliance of Zeman, Babis and the extremists, they will have to sent Zeman into premature political retirement, Dennik N writes.

Daily Sme writes that the nightmare of Prague intellectuals of Zeman defending the presidential post already in the first round did not come true. But also the dream of a turquoise revolution of Pavel Fischer, the belief of Michal Horacek that honest campaigning must lead to success and the Marek Hilser’s call for a vigorous young president did not come true either, Sme writes.

If Drahos survives a permanent smear campaign lasting for the next two weeks, he may become the next president, Sme says. news server says Zeman’s defeat is not a mere fantasy anymore but a realistic possibility. The determination to remove Zeman from top politics seems to be strong enough to boost Drahos, the server writes.

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