Dates set for Czech presidential elections

The Senate chairman pushed up the announcement to make a level playing field, as some people seem to be already campaigning. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 27.06.2022 13:37:00 (updated on 27.06.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech presidential election will take place on Jan. 13 and 14, 2023. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast, a second round will take place on Jan. 27 and 28.

The announcement means that campaigning can officially start once the election dates are published in the Collection of Laws, which should happen no later than July 1.

Once the campaign officially starts, all spending on it will have to be in line with the legally set financial limits set by law. Candidates can spend a maximum of CZK 40 million before the first round and CZK 50 million in total for both rounds.

The Senate chairman is bound by law to set the presidential election date so that the possible runoff vote can be held at least 30 days before the incumbent president's mandate expires. Current President Miloš Zeman ends his second and final term on March 8. He is not eligible to run for re-election.

Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil justified his decision to announce the election relatively well in advance with the need to ensure the fairness of the process. Previously, Vystrčil said he would announce the election date in August.

“The activities of various types of politicians, which bear the hallmarks of an election campaign, are gradually increasing,” Vystrčil, said. According to him, the only way to do everything to make the elections as fair as possible is to announce the elections as soon as possible.

While Vystrčil did not specify whom he thought was campaigning, he was likely reacting to former prime minister and opposition ANO leader Andrej Babiš, who has been touring the country in a camper van and meeting voters. Babiš has not officially announced his candidacy yet, and he says that he has been meeting voters in his capacity as a lower-house member of Parliament for ANO.

Aside from Babiš, another favorite is retired general Petr Pavel, who previously served as the chairman of the NATO Military Committee and as chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army. He also has not formally announced his candidacy.

To run, the candidate needs the signatures of 50,000 citizens, or must be nominated by or be nominated by 20 lower-house deputies or 10 senators. The candidate must be at least 40 years old on the day of voting.

Candidates must submit their materials to the Interior Ministry and declare their intentions by Nov. 8, 2022, at the latest to be included on the ballot. The Czech Republic does not allow write-in candidates.

Some potential candidates are already collecting signatures. These include trade union leader Josef Středula, economist, and educator Danuše Nerudová. Doctor and former Charles University rector Tomáš Zima also announced his intention to run. Entrepreneur Tomáš Březina said that he has already obtained the required 50,000 signatures.

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