Decision Time in Czech Presidential Poll

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

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The Czech Republic votes today and Saturday in a tight presidential run-off between two very different candidates.

Seeking re-election is Russia-friendly, anti-immigration political veteran Miloš Zeman, who won the first round of voting two weeks ago.

Opinion polls now put him neck and neck with Jiří Drahoš, a chemistry professor and former head of the Academy of Sciences, who has taken a strongly pro-European stance.

"I am a candidate who looks into the future. Miloš Zeman has nothing left to give to this country," Drahoš said.

Zeman, who rejects claims that Russia may have interfered in the vote, attacked Drahos for inexperience, saying: "It is quite courageous to aspire for the highest post in the country and know nothing about politics."

Immigration is a key election issue in one of the EU's most eurosceptic member states.

Zeman has criticised immigration flows from Muslim countries. His rival must overcome voters' suspicions that he is soft on immigration, with public opinion strongly against EU attempts to impose compulsory quotas for each member state to accept refugees.

Author: red


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