Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) admitted that he was considering the possibility of running in the 2003 presidential elections.
In response to a question on his Facebook page, however, he said his decision would depend on whether or not it obtained a sufficient number of signatures from citizens.
Under Czech law, a candidate must receive the necessary support from legislators (at least 10 senators or 20 deputies in the lower house) or citizens (at least 50,000 signatures).
The ANO party has 72 seats in the House, so fulfilling this requirement would not be a problem.
“President Zeman would like me to run for this post,” Babiš said last week, adding that the ANO movement wanted a presidential candidate.
Zeman is confident that he will be able to serve the remainder of his term until 2023, despite his unstable state of health: “I suppose I will perform my duties for a year and a half and then I will retire as a happy retiree,” says- there in the interview.
Among other potential candidates, the bookmakers singled out General Petr Pavel, former chairman of the NATO military committee, as well as former presidential hopeful Jiri Drahos, Pavel Fischer, and ex-Prime Minister and President Vaclav Klaus.
Whether he decides to run or put all the influence of his party and media empire in favor of another ANO candidate, many also warn that Babis’ desire to keep an ally close to the castle of Prague could be a way to protect itself from the many corruption cases it faces, both at national and European level.
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