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CZECHIA: Incumbent President Zeman still ahead in the polls
Zeman is running for re-election in January 2018. It is thought that he will seek to strengthen his tandem with Babis. This ‘team’ is expected to be more EU-sceptic and prone to govern at the expense of liberal democracy and its institutions. In order to strengthen the alliance, the ANO movement did not nominate its own presidential candidate who could have high chances to beat Zeman. Therefore, there are 9 official candidates to become the next Czech President. According to the recent polls, Zeman is still the leading candidate with 41.5% support, mostly supported by the electorate of ANO, KSCM and the SPD. The former head of the Academy of Science, Jiri Drahos comes second with 30.5% and businessman and lyricist Michal Horacek would be supported by 16.5% of voters. Charismatic but controversial former PM and head of Civic Democrats Mirek Topolanek, the black horse of the elections, is starting at 4.0% of support. Other candidates were endorsed by a required number of MPs or senators including activist and Doctor Marek Hilser, former diplomat Pavel Fischer, former CEO of Skoda Auto Vratislav Kulhanek, singer and producer Petr Hannig and Jiri Hynek, the Chairman of the Association for Weapons and Defense Industry.