published: 05.01.2013, 14:28 | updated: 05.01.2013 14:32:41
Prague - Milos Zeman was more persuasive than Jan Fischer in the first television duel of these favourites of the forthcoming first direct presidential election in the Czech Republic, experts addressed by CTK have agreed.
The debate was broadcast on Prima family TV channel on Friday evening in prime time.
According to political analysts, Fischer, PM of a caretaker cabinet in 2009-10, made a more emotional impression than Zeman, PM in 1998-2002 and former Social Democrat (CSSD) chairman, who managed the debate more calmly and his arguments were more convincing.
However, some analysts criticised that the television had interfered in the presidential election inappropriately since only two out of the nine presidential candidates had taken part in the debate.
"This is the influencing of the election results as the voters are being misled that they are choosing only from two candidates," analyst Tomas Lebeda said.
"Zeman was clearly more persuasive in his argumentation. He did not let anything put him out of countenance, did not lose temper and on top of that he was even witty," Lebeda told CTK.
Fischer made an impression of having been trained for the role, he added.
Fischer is disadvantaged compared to Zeman since his whole experience in top politics is limited to a short period when he was head of government, analyst Zdenek Zboril recalls.
"As soon as Zeman opens his mouth, it is apparent that he was a deputy to the Federal Assembly (Czechoslovak parliament), leader of a quite strong political party (CSSD), chairman of the Chamber of Deputies and prime minister," Zboril told CTK.
Both candidates succeeded in presenting the foreign policy topic well and their comments were quite balanced but Fischer´s formulations were a bit clumsy, Zboril added.
Media analyst Daniel Koeppl said Zeman hsd tried to be dominant in the debate and he had taken up the role of its moderator sometimes.
He added that Fischer had surprised him by being witty now and then and by trying being relaxed.
Zeman was speaking in a more cultivated way than Fischer who sometimes used jovial expressions, linguist Jiri Nekvapil said.
The first round of the presidential election is scheduled for January 11-12, a possible second round will be held two weeks later.
According to the latest public opinion poll, conducted on December 22, 2012, the chances of Fischer and Zeman are for the first time virtually the same. Both are now to be elected by 26 percent of Czechs.
Foreign Minister and leader of TOP 09 Karel Schwarzenberg would finish third with 9.5 percent, followed by Social Democrat (CSSD) candidate Jiri Dienstbier (8 percent).
Lebeda, however, points out that a direct presidential election will be held in the Czech Republic for the first time and no one can say how reliable the polls are. He recalls that the real results of the previous general election markedly differed from the polls´ estimates.
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