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Czech election: Could liberal centrist claim shock president win?

January 11, 2018 10:53 PM
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Czech election: Could liberal centrist claim shock president win?

AS VOTING opens in the presidential election, Czechia is split between the pro-Russian views of president Miloš Zeman and more centrist views.

Mr Zeman also has vehement anti-Muslim views, and has referred to the 2015 refugee crisis as an “organised invasion of Europe”. He also claims it is “impossible to integrate” Muslims into Czech society.

Political analyst Jiří Pehe told AFP: “The vote shows a broader conflict, it shows how society is polarised.

“It is a clash between… the post-communist part of society represented by Zeman and the other part, say, modern, pro-Western, which simply doesn’t want this president any more.”

And a Drahoš win could scupper Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš’ plans for the coming year.

Mr Babiš is a key ally of Mr Zeman’s and would continue to tack to the right with his policy plans, but this would make it hard to work with Drahoš as president.

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