[15.01.2003 19:54 UTC] Více autorů
Third round fails to produce new president for the Czech Republic
The third round of voting in the Czech presidential election taking place in both houses of parliament Wednesday has ended in a stalemate for the two presidential candidates to get through the first two rounds, former prime minister and Civic Democrat Vaclav Klaus, and chairman of the Senate and Christian Democrat Petr Pithart, each trying to replace retiring President Vaclav Havel. Against expectations Vaclav Klaus came out as the strongest candidate in all three rounds. Earlier I asked my colleague Rob Cameron, who was covering the elections, whether Mr Klaus' strong showing was expected:
"I think it is something of a surprise. This morning Petr Pithart, the chairman of the Senate, was being described as the favourite, it seemed he would be able to garner enough support among the deputies and senators to be elected president in the 3rd round - that did not happen, in fact. He was heavily defeated by Vaclav Klaus, the former prime minister, the former leader of the Civic Democrats. Mr Klaus came out far ahead of Mr Pithart; he wasn't elected president but he certainly came out better than Mr Pithart did."
Where do we go from here?
"Well, there will be a second attempt to elect a president that could take place at any time in the next month, so it does seem almost certain now that the Czech Republic will be without a head of state for weeks, if not months."
That election would still utilise the current system of electing a president, of course.
"It would indeed, that would be another parliamentary vote, we're not going to have a popular vote yet, and there's going to be some very, very heavy bargaining over the next few weeks to try and drum up enough support for one candidate to try and make it through."
Given the rather disappointing finish for Petr Pithart in the end, is it likely that he'll get the call the 2nd time around?
"I am really not sure, I think he would be wise to hold talks first of all to make sure he does have enough support to do that, because I think that not only he, but also the governing coalition have been made to look fairly foolish today. As I said he was described as the favourite, a sort of 'compromise' candidate that everyone could accept, someone who it would be possible to negotiate support for? It hasn't happened."
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