Czechs have named their most trusted leader – who's yours?

Czechs trust Slovakia's president more than their own, according to new data. Which Czech political leader do you find most trustworthy? Staff

Written by Staff Published on 21.01.2022 17:00:00 (updated on 22.01.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Trust in politics isn’t exactly high in the Czech Republic. A troubled twentieth-century history and multiple corruption scandals since the fall of Communism have set the bar low for politicians. This can have real effects on everyday life: it’s been suggested, for example, that the nation’s relative mistrust of political leaders is in part responsible for higher levels of Covid vaccine scepticism than in neighbors to the west.

Now, data from the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) suggests that a majority of Czechs trust Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová more than their own head of state, President Miloš Zeman. The two politicians are markedly different in character: Čaputová is associated with a pro-western, pro-democracy stance, while Zeman has made no secret of his desire for closer Czech relations with eastern powers such as Russia and China.

The CVVM research, evaluating Czechs’ trust in political leaders from all over the world, suggests the highest levels of trust in politicians embodying western values. The second most trusted leader after Čaputová, trusted by 64 per cent of Czechs, is French President Emmanuel Macron, with 41 per cent trust. Macron is a strong advocate for closer EU integration, with France now assuming the rotating EU Council presidency.

Which Czech political leader do you trust the most?

Miloš Zeman 5 %
Petr Fiala 6 %
Andrej Babiš 6 %
Markéta Pekarová Adamová 21 %
Ivan Bartoš 33 %
Tomio Okamura 22 %
Marian Jurečka 3 %
Vít Rakušan 5 %
150 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open

At the other end of the spectrum, the most distrusted world leader is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with 70 percent mistrust from Czechs. Hot on his heels is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump, as the second and third most mistrusted political leaders.

Czech President Miloš Zeman enjoys significantly lower levels of trust than his Slovak counterpart, but he is still among Czechs’ most-trusted world leaders. After Čaputová and Macron, the top five is rounded off by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Zeman in fifth place.

The study came up with some surprises: similar levels of trust are enjoyed by current U.S. President Joe Biden and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán; two politicians who tend to be viewed as opposites when it comes to maintaining western norms. Biden meanwhile provokes similar levels of mistrust to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In the Czech Republic, problems with political trust aren't going away. Zeman saw a decline in trust by 15 per cent, and a concurrent increase in mistrust by 11 per cent. A separate opinion poll conducted this month by the National Pandemic Alarm project has found that over 50 per cent of Czechs mistrust the new government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala in its handling of the Covid pandemic.

Levels of trust and mistrust in Czech politicians other than Zeman were not, however, tested by CVVM's survey. As such, it's unknown whether other Czech political leaders enjoy more or less trust than the President. The Czech Republic's political party leaders represent a full spectrum of ideologies, from pro-western, pro-EU beliefs to advocates of Eurosceptic, anti-immigration and pro-nation policies.

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