The Economist

Czech presidential race: Castle man
The Economist

Early next year Czechs will vote for their president: the first direct election for the head of state in the country’s history. In the past, the person in Prague castle has always been chosen by politicians. Now the race is on to replace Václav Klaus, the incumbent who as finance minister, prime minister and president has dominated the country’s politics for two decades.

Fed-up with sleaze in public life, Czechs are favouring candidates with no affiliation to political parties. That is good news for the front runner, Jan Fischer, who left his job as the country’s chief statistician to become caretaker prime minister in 2009, when the Czech government collapsed in the middle of the country’s presidency of the European Union.

Just behind him in the polls is another independent based abroad, the economist Jan Švejnar. He stood for the office in 2008, when only politicians could vote for the president, but his « US-style » campaign, involving meeting people around the country, won many admirers.

L’émergence de candidats sans parti, verra-t-on ça un jour au Québec ?