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Zeman opens account for presidential election

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Prague, Sept 2 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman already has a compulsory transparent account for the presidential election, due next January, Czech Radio (CRo) said on Saturday.

Within five days of the publishing of the election date, all presidential candidates must open transparent bank accounts for the financing of their campaigns. The ceiling for the costs of the campaign is 40 million crowns for each candidate.

The two candidates advancing to the possible runoff may spend further 10 million crowns between the first and second rounds. A new state body will supervise the financing of the campaigns.

Senate chairman Milan Stech announced last week that the first round of the presidential election will be held on January 12-13, 2018. The expected runoff vote will follow on January 26-27.

The most serious contenders, former Czech Science Academy head Jiri Drahos and lyricist and former betting firm owner Michal Horacek, already established their transparent accounts several months ago.

Like Zeman, they have announced they already have over 50,000 signatures necessary for the nomination.

No financial moves have appeared on Zeman’s account.

At the end of August, Drahos had roughly 10,3 million crowns on his account and Horacek 2.7 million at the end of July.

Doctor and activist Marek Hilser, Vratislav Kulhanek, 73, former chairman of the Skoda car maker’s board who runs for the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA), leader of the Reasonable People party and musician Petr Hannig and former deputy Otto Chaloupka have also established their election accounts.

The post of president may be also contested by Senate deputy chairman Jaroslav Kubera (Civic Democratic Party, ODS), Defence Industry Association head Jiri Hynek (for the Realists), physician Marek Hilser, businessman Igor Sladek, politician Miroslav Sladek, former lawmaker Otto Chaloupka (for the Republic party), musician Petr Hannig (for the Sensible party) and actress Jana Yngland Hruskova, the only female contender so far.

The candidates must submit their candidacy to the Interior Ministry by November 7 at the latest and the decision on it must be made by November 24.

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