Global News

Czechs Voting In Second Day Of Presidential Election

Czechs Voting In Second Day Of Presidential Election

Czech President Milos Zeman was attacked by a "Femen" activist as he voted today in the Czech presidential election, where he is expected to win but could possibly face a runoff.

The face-off, on January 26-27, is shaping up to be a clash not only of politics, but also personalities.

Zeman has served as the Czech president since March 2013.

In a 2015 Christmas message, Zeman described the ongoing influx of migrants in Europe as an "organized invasion".

However, with nearly all ballots counted by the Czech Statistics Office, Zeman had 38.6 percent of the vote, a commanding lead over Drahos' 26.6 percent.

With almost all the votes counted, Zeman was credited with 38.57 percent of the vote in the election, held Friday and Saturday, with Drahoš at 26.6 percent, well ahead of third-placed Pavel Fischer, a former ambassador to France, who garnered just over 10 percent.

Zeman has sought more trade and closer ties with China and has warm relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling for the removal of European Union sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea to boost business.

The billionaire businessman said he would vote for Mr Zeman, 73, for his honesty, political experience and defence of national interests.

Drahos could not be more different.

His more liberal rival Jiří Drahoš is staunchly pro-European and has called for Prague to "play a more active role in the EU".




The 68-year-old Drahoš - a physical chemist and former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences - set himself apart from the pack of challengers to Zeman with a strong, self-assured performance in the final televised debate, held late Thursday.

As the results rolled in, analyst Jiri Pehe told AFP that "Zeman will have a huge problem in the second round". The three pledged their support to Drahos in the runoff.

But a recent poll for Czech Television showed the tide could still turn, with a possible win for Drahos with 48.5 percent of votes predicted for the second round against 44 percent for Zeman.

"I like that he speaks to voters", said Irena Matuskova, a Prague nurse who plans to vote for Zeman. The encounter left Zeman visibly shaken and looking weak. Many voters may switch from their losing candidates to support the runner-up against Zeman.

Michal Horacek, music producer, entrepreneur and now presidential candidate told the BBC: "I do not want the Czech Republic to become a Trojan horse for entities like the Russian Federation and China".

Otherwise, the president has little executive power and the country is run by the government chosen and led by the prime minister, now populist billionaire Andrej Babis, a Zeman ally who faces fraud charges.

The Czech government is led by the prime minister, but unlike other countries where the president has a largely ceremonial role, the Czech president is involved in numerous country's political decisions.

"Drahos has made it very clear that a prosecuted man should not be prime minister", Pehe said.

While the president may influence efforts to break a government stalemate as the cabinet is likely to lose the first confidence vote next week, Czech financial assets have been largely immune to political uncertainty.


  • Ford Announces 2019 Ford Edge ST — Sharper Edge

    Ford Announces 2019 Ford Edge ST — Sharper Edge

    Bigger brakes are standard on the ST, while an even more capable performance brake system is optional for more stopping muscle. None of the bug numbers are out yet, but we expect the Edge ST to come close to the 17/24 mpg city/highway of the Edge Sport.
    Special weather statement issued for London area

    Special weather statement issued for London area

    Morning flurries will change to rain showers later this morning, according to the most recent forecast from Environment Canada. Travellers were advised to be prepared for slippery driving conditions and to adjust travel plans appropriately.
    Mnangagwa to visit Namibia on Monday

    Mnangagwa to visit Namibia on Monday

    It was his first appearance in the media since he fled the country mid November previous year . It had been thought that he had fled to Kenya - where his wife is originally from.
  • Price Performance Review on Shares of Chile Index MSCI Ishares (ECH)

    Price Performance Review on Shares of Chile Index MSCI Ishares (ECH)

    The indicator is non-directional meaning that it gauges trend strength whether the stock price is trending higher or lower. Used as a coincident indicator, the CCI reading above +100 would reflect strong price action which may signal an uptrend.
    Scientists Find Thick Ice Below the Surface of Mars

    Scientists Find Thick Ice Below the Surface of Mars

    In today's issue of Science , researchers are reporting the likely presence of ice sheets in more temperate regions. Planetary scientists around the world are finding hope in that this could, in fact, be the clue to pure ice .
    Doesn't want to play under franchise tag in 2018

    Doesn't want to play under franchise tag in 2018

    Even with Antonio Brown having an MVP-caliber season, one could argue that Bell is Pittsburgh's most important offensive player. There are no guarantees that the Steelers will get to the AFC Championship to face presumably the New England Patriots.
  • Margot Robbie's story about meeting Barack Obama on her honeymoon is hilarious

    Margot Robbie's story about meeting Barack Obama on her honeymoon is hilarious

    The chance meeting in the hotel gym was made extremely awkward by what Tom chose to wear for their workout session. Robbie said it was then that DeGeneres looked at him and said, "Boy, those were the wrong shorts to wear today".
    WWE star John Cena teaming up with Nickelodeon for three projects

    WWE star John Cena teaming up with Nickelodeon for three projects

    In addition to joining Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , Cena is expanding his partnership with Nickelodeon . Regarding the Ninja Turtles series , Cena will voice an original villain named Baron Draxum.
    Oil prices hold near 2015 highs, but doubts over rally emerge

    Oil prices hold near 2015 highs, but doubts over rally emerge

    Domestic demand was also higher: USA product supplied for crude oil and petroleum products was at the highest level since 2007. The cartel expects that the crude market to balance this summer and run at a small deficit in the second half of 2018.
  • Rose McGowan's new E! docuseries will include her controlled substance arrest

    Rose McGowan's new E! docuseries will include her controlled substance arrest

    But actress Rose McGowan , who was one of the first to go public about abuse, laid into "hypocrites" who did not speak out before. When introducing the gong for best director, she told the audience: "And here are the all male nominees".
    United States  urges citizens to 'reconsider travel' to Pakistan

    United States urges citizens to 'reconsider travel' to Pakistan

    Several European countries that are popular with American tourists were put at the Tier 2 level due to risks related to terrorism. Meanwhile, No. 3 advisories suggest travelers reconsider trips to designated locations, while No. 4 recommends against travel.
    Lyrics From Camila Cabello's Debut Album That Reflect Her Ever-Growing Maturity

    Lyrics From Camila Cabello's Debut Album That Reflect Her Ever-Growing Maturity

    Camila Cabello just dropped her debut solo album, Camila , and it's already receiving some pretty incredible accolades. Camila launched her solo career after she quit Fifth Harmony in December 2016.