Czech president to run for second term

Czech President Miloš Zeman has announced his intention of running for re-election next year. He made the announcement to a crowd of roughly 1,000 supporters gathered around him at Prague Castle. Czech commentators point out that there are no guarantees that he will win a second term and fear that Zeman's tone will become increasingly nationalistic.

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Právo (CZ) /

Young generation could take the stage

Only the very brave would dare to enter the boxing ring with Zeman as their opponent, writes Právo, but the paper still sees the outcome of the election as open:

“One problem is easily overlooked: Zeman is now 72 years old. His state of health is not optimal and his lifestyle will give rise to frequent debates about this should he be re-elected. … Moreover, the fight for the post of president won't just be of a political nature, with Zeman's supporters pitched against Zeman's detractors. It will also be a battle between different generations. The post-revolution generation has grown up and is now in its productive years. The pictures of revolutionary platforms on Wenzel Square or Prague's Letna Hill don't mean much to these people. So the outcome of the battle isn't necessarily clear yet.”

Denik (CZ) /

Zeman will emulate Trump

Zeman will try to emulate his idol Donald Trump and drastically change Czech society, Denik fears:

“Zeman has already undergone one transformation, from left-leaning social democrat to xenophobic nationalist. That bodes ill for the Czech Republic. The nationalists want to exit the EU. Does Zeman want this too? And do his voters know that? Do they have any idea what would happen after a Czexit? ... According to a survey of 500 regional decision-makers, they are very much in a reflective mood. Although almost all the respondents believe that Zeman is very intelligent, they don't see him as a statesman whose views they share. Prime Minister Sobotka is right when he says that it is above all the government that decides what direction the country takes. Nevertheless the president exerts a major influence on the mood in society. And it makes a difference if that president is more like Trump or more like Kennedy.”