published: 13.01.2013, 12:14 | updated: 13.01.2013 12:20:22
Prague - The Czech presidential polls are a debacle of the right wing and a horrible defeat of the senior ruling Civic Democrats (ODS), incumbent President Vaclav Klaus said in the wake of the first round of the direct election today, adding that the left wing has dominantly won.
Nonetheless, Klaus is glad that the candidates advancing to the second round are politicians, he told journalists.
In the second round, due on January 25-26, former PM Milos Zeman (leftist Citizens´ Rights Party, SPOZ) will clash with Karel Schwarzenberg, deputy PM, foreign minister and head of the conservative junior ruling TOP 09.
"These elections were the biggest debacle of the right in the post-communist history, which makes me suffer. Of course, it was a horrible defeat of the ODS and the left has dominantly won. I´m sad and I feel something must be done about it," Klaus said.
The ODS´s candidate for president, Senate deputy chairman Premysl Sobotka, ended last but one in the first round held on January 11-12.
The ODS is the Czech mainstream right-wing party which Klaus founded in 1991, which he chaired until 2002 and later was its honorary chairman. In 2008, however, Klaus fell out with the ODS over his dissatisfaction with the party leadership of his successor, Mirek Topolanek. Since 2010, the ODS has been chaired by Petr Necas, the present prime minister.
Klaus said the ODS enormously underestimated the presidential polls.
"If some say they did it intentionally and that they do not ascribe any importance to them [the polls], it is not true," Klaus said.
He said he is glad that the first round ended without an "exotic result." Both Zeman and Schwarzenberg know what the presidential post means, he added.
Before the first election round, Klaus said he can see no clear favourite among the nine candidates, who, apart from politicians, also included an actress , a composer and the former head of an interim cabinet of unaffiliated experts. He indirectly indicated his possible support to Zeman.
Klaus, an Eurosceptic, and Schwarzenberg have several times clashed over various issues, mainly foreign political ones.
Klaus today said the direct presidential election is the question of the power of media. He said he would like the campaign ahead of the second round to be fair and people each to use his/her reason to think.
Klaus would not recommend whom voters should support in the second round.
"I kept silent in the debate on whether president should be chosen in a direct election or by parliament.It is not up to me to comment on this," said Klaus, who criticised the introduction of the direct election last year.
Asked whether the first round result could be an impulse for him to intensify his participation in politics after his presidential mandate expires on March 7, Klaus said there is no need to speculate.
"However, the [first round] result is really bad. If everyone stayed cool at the [October 2012] regional elections´ outcome, this is another [fiasco of the ODS] in a row, from which something ensues, or should ensue," Klaus said.
He said he disagrees with the opinion that the amnesty he declared on New Year deprived Sobotka of a portion of voters´ support.
"After the heads will calm down, everybody will see that it was a reasonable and rational step, well thought-out," Klaus said in reaction to critics of the amnesty.
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