published: 17.01.2013, 07:22 | updated: 17.01.2013 07:34:04
Prague - The major Czech dailies today comment on the direct presidential election in which former socialist prime minister Milos Zeman and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) will clash on January 25-26.
The first duel of the two Czech presidential candidates ended in a draw, but it was not a result of a fierce fight, but a result of bland hosting by the public Czech Radio (CRo), Petr Honzejk says in daily Hospodarske noviny (HN).
The radio debate broadcast live on Wednesday afternoon did not give an opportunity for confrontation, Honzejk writes.
He says one listened for an hour to the candidates´ opinions on issues, on which a president does not have any influence.
Hot topics, like Zeman´s unclear sponsors and Schwarzenberg´s responsibility for the current style of governing of the Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) cabinet, were not opened, Honzejk writes.
The debate was a waste of time, apart from a few moments, such as Zeman naming his candidates for the central bank members (trade union´s economist Martin Fassman, U.S.-based economist and former presidential candidate Jan Svejnar, former socialist minister and economist Jiri Rusnok), Honzejk concludes.
The radio duel of the two presidential candidates clearly showed their strategy ahead of the second round of the election, Daniel Kaiser says in Lidove noviny (LN).
Kaiser says Zeman emphasised in many ways that he is the candidate of the working class against the aristocratic government.
Schwarzenberg who is the current first deputy prime minister knows how unpopular the government is and so he tries to divert attention from it, Kaiser writes.
When the Social Democrat (CSSD) leadership called on the party´s voters to "consider" support to Zeman, a big dispute over the interpretation of the meaning of the verb in this context started, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo.
Zeman, former CSSD´s long-standing leader, retired from politics ten years ago after the CSSD MPs did not fully support his presidential candidacy. Later on he left the CSSD and established his own party, the extra-parliamentary Party of Citizens´ Rights (SPOZ).
Jelinek says the Social Democrats could have acted in a different way after it became clear on Saturday that Zeman and Schwarzenberg advanced to the election´s second round.
He writes that the CSSD leaders could have said they do not want to back Schwarzenberg but that they will support Zeman only if he meets certain conditions.
These conditions might have included the explanation of Zeman´s role in the toleration of the right-wing government of Mirek Topolanek (Civic Democrats, ODS) by two CSSD MPs who crossed the floor and left their party, the financing of Zeman´s presidential campaign and dubious persons who cooperate with Zeman, Jelinek writes.
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