Poll: Most Czechs consider Havel the best post-1989 president

On the eve of the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, a new poll ranks Czech presidents past and present


Written by ČTK Published on 16.11.2020 16:18:00 (updated on 16.11.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Most Czechs consider Vaclav Havel (in office from 1989-2003) to be the country's best president following the 1989 fall of the Communist regime, a new poll reveals.

Vaclav Klaus (president from 2003-2013), followed Havel at second place in the ranking, with incumbent president Milos Zeman (in office since 2013) ranking third in the presidential poll released by STEM / MARK Monday.

A total of 58 percent of the respondents called Havel the best president, while for 13 percent, he is the second best; another 13 percent viewed him as the worst head of state after 1989.

As this poll is conducted yearly, it shows that Havel's first place is unquestionable, the pollsters said.

Havel button Sokoljan via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
Havel button Sokoljan via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

In the poll, Havel was considered the best post-1989 president by almost all social and economic groups as well as by respondents regardless of their age, gender, education level, or location.

Moreover, Havel was assessed as the best president by one in five Zeman voters.

Thirteen percent of the polled denoted Klaus as the best post-1989 president, while 53 percent viewed him as the second best and about 10 percent as the worst.

Klaus, too, enjoyed balanced support across all social and demographic groups. He was slightly better assessed by the 45 to 59 year old age demographic, right-leaning voters in general, supporters of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which he founded, and the Tricolor nationalist movement, established by his son Vaclav Klaus Jr, according to STEM / MARK data.

Current president Zeman ended third, even though 16 percent consider him the best post-1989 president. However, more than 50 percent said he is the worst.

Zeman has lost a number of 60-plus supporters over the past year. "We suppose that this is mainly due to his infrequent media activity during the first wave of the coronavirus crisis when the elderly and most threatened, for whom he is a significant personality, lacked his words of support and wanted him to be more visible," said Jan Burianec, STEM / MARK.

However, Zeman is still considered the best president among those who voted for the Communists (KSCM) as well as the senior government ANO and the anti-EU far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

Those who would like to see the role of the presidential post strengthened also considered Zeman the best president.

The STEM / MARK poll was conducted via phone and online across a sample of 815 people over the age 18 at the end of September and beginning of October.

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