The international service of Czech Radio 
12-8-2020, 23:50 UTC
[24.01.2018 7:07 UTC] Ian Willoughby
Zeman judged to have edged first debate with Drahoš, format criticised

Political marketing experts say incumbent Miloš Zeman edged the first televised debate with his challenger for the post of Czech president, Jiří Drahoš, on commercial station TV Prima on Tuesday night. Martin Joachymstál, a political marketing specialist, told the Czech News Agency that Mr. Zeman had outdone his rival. He said also that the clash had been influenced by the poor performance of the host of the debate, who had failed to keep the rowdy audience in check.

This view was shared by Alžběta Králová of the Institute of Political Marketing, who said that Mr. Drahoš had attempted to hold a serious debate in an unserious environment. She said that the aggressive and confrontational style of the event had suited Mr. Zeman and that his rival had failed to prevent the incumbent from interrupting him.

The two candidates are due to meet again in a second and final debate on Thursday night. Voting in the second round runoff begins on Friday afternoon.