We have news of Karel Schwarzenberg launching a phone campaign and generally rolling out a personal campaign while Milos Zeman intends to concentrate on the internet and on catching up with his rival in social networks.
Outgoing President Klaus, unsurprisingly has tried to endorse Milos Zeman. He could not do it openly because of his own position but stated that he would prefer his successor to have spent his life in the country, which excludes Karel Schwarzenberg who has spent much of his life in Austria, having left Czechoslovakia involuntarily, as he has pointed out, in 1948.
In a Czech Radio debate between the presidential candidates on Wednesday, Mr Schwarzenberg addressed the concerns of a listener who accused him of being a foreigner.
“As for me being labelled an Austrian – it’s true that I lived there for a long time but I have never been a citizen of that country. I have never given up my Czechoslovak citizenship. But I have been faced with this prejudice all my life and I’m used to it. Some things are just thrown at you and there is nothing you can do about it. Another matter altogether is that in 1948 I left this country involuntarily.”Of course, as Radio Prague, points out President Klaus's endorsement might not be all that useful, especially after the somewhat controversial amnesty announced earlier this month. Schwarzenberg has never hidden his life story so, one must assume that people who vote for him know the facts.(I know that is a tall assumption with an electorate in any country.)
Others are also joining in the fight. Carl Bildt, a man of dubious political attitudes, has pronounced on his blog (in Swedish and sent to me by a regular reader of this blog) that the Czechs really should vote for Karel Schwarzenberg, friend of Carl Bildt.
According to Mr Bildt, his friend is eminently qualified for the position but, alas, has to withstand the poisonous arrows of narrow nationalism. He does rather graciously allow that the choice is the Czech Republic's but adds somewhat grimly that the result will tell "us" something about that country.
The next round is due on January 25 - 26.