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LN: Being anti-Zeman is not programme, but added value

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Prague, April 1 (CTK) – Being an anti-Zeman cannot be a programme, but it is a significant added value, Jaroslav Veis writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) Saturday when commenting on former Czech Science Academy head Jiri Drahos’s announcement that he will be running against President Milos Zeman in 2018.

Veis writes that an anti-Zeman is nothing but a symbol, into which a significant part of the public projects its fatigue and disgust with Zeman’s first four years of presidency, which ends next year.

Zeman’S powers are minimal. But he annoys many people with his offending everyone who does not say “yes” to everything he says, his contempt for opinion opponents, malevolence, self-complacency, unwillingness to self-reflection and a tendency to lie, Veis writes.

He writes that from this point of view, the fact that Zeman, 72, will be defending presidency, can be an advantage for Drahos, 68.

The fact that the group of those who voted for Zeman in the first direct election in 2013 and who may change their mind minimally for aesthetic reasons in 2018 need not be negligible, Veis writes.

He writes that those who say that Drahos joined the presidential campaign without any publicity in his hometown, Jablunkov, far in north-east Moravia, on Tuesday, are not right.

When he launched his book interview Science of Life in the Academy of Sciences at the end of February, he actually presented one of the instruments of his election campaign, Veis writes.

One day after he announced his candidacy, weekly Reflex published a carefully prepared candidate’s interview. The choice of Reflex also proves Drahos is carefully preparing for the campaign, Veis writes.

He writes that Reflex, which is one of the three relevant Czech weeklies from the point of view of opinions, is published in the highest number of copies, it moves on the edge between a political-analytical and lifestyle magazine, between serious and tabloid media, in which a lover of quality culture as well as a Europhobe, an anti-communist as well a promoter of the anti-migrant sentiment will find something for themselves.

The Respekt weekly is too closely connected with Prague intellectuals and Tyden overtly supports Zeman, Veis writes.

In the Reflex interview, Drahos in fact talked to all, Veis writes.

“We belong in Europe and nowhere else…I consider NATO membership unchallengeable…We must stand up to migration…together with all states of the European Union…We must not allow our values to be threatened either by those who are coming in or by those who already live in Europe…,” Veis quotes Drahos as saying in Reflex.

Drahos said he would have problem with communists in the government, it is unacceptable for him that the Czech president should say in China that he is going there to learn how to stabilise society (which Zeman said) and that he negotiated with politicians, but he never kowtowed to them, Veis writes.

He writes that Drahos shows that he can also be folksy when he says that he will open Prague Castle, the presidential seat, to people by removing Zeman’s nonsensical door frame metal detectors and by opening the spaces that have been shut until now.

Veis writes that Drahos’s choice of people for his election campaign team and possibly for his aides if elected will be important.

The people with whom Zeman surrounds himself are a factor that burdens his image the most, Veis writes.

He writes that Drahos, who was managing science in the past decade, is definitely more judicious in this respect than politician Zeman, bound by services and counter-services.

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