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President Zeman’s aides recommend to him to seek re-election

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Prague, Feb 5 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman’s closest aides recommended to him on Tuesday to seek re-election in 2018 and he told public Czech Television (CT) yesterday that the recommendation was made by all seven of his collaborators, which will influence his decision-making.
Zeman said if he runs, he will address citizens and that he would consider support from political parties or movements a gesture.
The Tuesday meeting on Zeman’s possible candidature was attended by Presidential Office head Vratislav Mynar, adviser Martin Nejedly, foreign department head Hynek Kmonicek and Radek analytical department director Radek Augustin.
Zeman said his aides told him that he rested enough and pointed to the ten years he spent at his country home in Vysocina after he retired in 2002.
He said he will announce his decision on candidature for a second five-year term at a meeting with his supporters on the 4th anniversary nof his inauguration in the evening on March 9.
Zeman said the negative side of presidency is that he does not have enough time to read, while one positive thing is that the Czech president can have friendl relations with the Russian, Chinese and U.S. presdient.
CT said if Zeman is running again, he will be collecting the 50,000 needed citizens’s signatures.
“If I decide to run again, I will be turning to all citizens, irrespective of their party sympathy,” Zeman told CT.
“If any party or any movement decides to support me, I will considers this a sympathetic gesture, but not something that would be decisive,” Zeman said.
With support of 50,000 signatures, Zeman also ran in the previous presidential election, the first direct one. The signatures were gathered by the Party of Citizens’ Rights – the Zemanites, of which he was an honorary chairman at that time.
Zeman was elected in early 2013 and his term will expire in March 2018.
The Senate is to discuss an amendment to the election law that defines the conditions of collection of signatures in March.
Media have written that Zeman’s health condition might be an obstacle to his candidature. He has problems walking because he suffers from polyfunctional neuropathy.
Recently, Zeman said his health condition is stabilised.
He will turn 73 in September.
An official candidature for president has as yet been announced by businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek, businessman Igor Sladek and physician and activist Marek Hilser.

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