published: 02.11.2012, 11:01 | updated: 02.11.2012 11:07:42
Prague - Former industry and trade minister Vladimir Dlouhy, 59, registered as a candidate for the first direct presidential elections in the Czech Republic to be held in January 2013 at the Interior Ministry today, his aides have told CTK.
Dlouhy has collected some 60,000 signatures for his candidacy.
Until now, the president has been elected by the two houses of parliament.
Twenty-five people have announced that they would run for Czech president. However, not all of them have met the nomination conditions yet.
The presidential candidate's nomination can be submitted by every adult citizen who has a petition with minimally 50,000 signatures, or by at least 20 deputies or ten senators.
This week, Dlouhy also presented his pre-election programme headlined "Respected economist, president for foul weather."
Dlouhy does not belong to the election favourites , according to polls. They show that the most popular candidates are Jan Fischer, former PM of a caretaker cabinet, and Milos Zeman, former Social Democrats (CSSD) head and former prime minister.
They will compete with Foreign Minister and government TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg, senator and CSSD deputy chairman Jiri Dienstbier and senior government Civic Democrat (ODS) senator Premysl Sobotka, along with Sovereignty party chairwoman Jana Bobosikova and Zuzana Roithova, MEP for the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
The second and last five-year term of current President Vaclav Klaus expires in early March 2013.
Senate chairman Milan Stech (CSSD) announced that the first round of the presidential election would be held on January 11-12, 2013, and the second round two weeks later.
The candidates must hand in their applications by November 6.
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