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Former presidential candidate Drahoš to run for senator in Prague

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Prague, March 20 (CTK) – Former Czech Sciences Academy head Jiri Drahos, who lost to Milos Zeman in the presidential election runoff in January, will run senator in Prague in the autumn elections, he told journalists on Tuesday, confirming the speculations.

Drahos said he is seeking support from democratic parties. He is negotiating with the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), the Mayors and Independents (STAN), the Pirates and TOP 09, he said.

Out of the nine parties in parliament, the Communists (KSCM), the anti-immigrant Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the ANO movement of Prime Minister Andrej Babis are mostly considered non-democratic. These three parties hold a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. Babis said his movement is democratic.

Drahos also said he and his colleagues have founded a civic group, Spolecne pro Cesko (Together for Czechia), which wants to offer solutions to important issues, such as property distraints, education and participation of the young in public life. The group will be apolitical, nonprofit and open to people who want to take part in the work, he added.

The other founders of the group are Jakub Kleindienst, who was the manager of Drahos’s presidential campaign, and Ales Novak, also a member of Drahos’s election team.

Drahos said he will be running for the senator in Prague 4 District in which he had lived for years.

The current senator in this district is Eva Sykova, Drahos’s former colleague from the Sciences Academy, who was elected as an unaffiliated candidate for the Social Democrats (CSSD).

In 2016, Drahos sacked Sykova as director of the Academy’s Institute of Experimental Medicine due to an affair over patients treated within stem cell clinical studies sending money to the institute. Under Czech law, this treatment is free of charge.

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