Danuše Nerudová enters Czech presidential race

The former rector of Mendel University collected enough signatures to run, but what are the odds of her finishing the race in Pražský hrad?

Ioana Caloianu

Written by Ioana Caloianu Published on 14.10.2022 10:30:00 (updated on 10.01.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Danuše Nerudová's team announced yesterday that it has collected enough signatures for her presidential bid, ČTK reports. Their total currently stands at more than 80,000 citizens' signatures, but Nerudová's spokesperson Štěpán Neubauer said that up to 20 percent of them could be discarded due to errors or illegibility. Under Czech law, the requirement to run in the presidential election is to have either 50,000 valid signatures, or the signatures of at least 20 deputies and ten senators.

Nerudová has assumed a prominent position in the Czech public sphere in recent years, and has spoken out on the government’s handling of the Covid pandemic and related economic problems. She also said that, if elected, one of her priorities would be an attempt to bridge increasing cultural and social divides in the Czech Republic.

As for her professional qualifications, Nerudová is an economist and university professor, the former Chairwoman of the Commission for Fair Pensions from 2018 to 2022 and the former rector of the Mendel University Brno from 2018 to 2022.

How likely is Nerudová to win?

Polls taken in September cited by ČTK show that General Petr Pavel would win the first round of the presidential election, while Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would come in second. These polls are the first that give Pavel a leg up over Babiš, who has not yet announced whether he will run for president or not.

Still, the race between the two could be tight, as shown by the numbers; 24 percent of voters chose Pavel, whereas Babiš was the choice of 23.5 percent of voters. This means that the two would be likely to face off in a second round of elections. If that happened, Pavel had more chances of winning, thanks to the support of 59 percent of voters.

Nerudová ranked third in the preferences of those who were polled, with 10 percent support, followed by senator Pavel Fischer, who would be the choice of 8 percent of voters. Pavel, Nerudová and Fischer are all endorsed by the Spolu coalition that consists of ODS, KDU-ČSL and TOP09.

The first round of the presidential election will take place on Jan. 13 and 14, 2023, and the second two weeks later. The deadline for candidates to submit their presidential bid is the beginning of November.

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