Sunday, January 27, 2013

President Milos Zeman

Perhaps, Carl Bildt will be able to analyze what this tells us about the Czech Republic: former Prime Minister Milos Zeman, a supposed left-wing politician and statistician, has won the first direct presidential election by 54.8 per cent to 45.2 per cent on a turn-out of 59.11 per cent.

The BBC tells us that
Although Czechs are generally disillusioned with politics, they turned out in their droves to choose between the two very different candidates - Mr Zeman, the acerbic former Social Democrat prime minister, and Karel Schwarzenberg, the elderly, aristocratic foreign minister.

The urban elite voted en masse for Mr Schwarzenberg - who was supported by many in the media and had a strong Facebook following, says our correspondent.
I wouldn't go as far as calling under 60 per cent "turning out in droves" but it is beter than many elections. The funniest comment in the BBC report is
Mr Zeman is seen as a hard-drinking, chain-smoking politician, known for his witty put-downs of opponents.
Seen by whom? Is he hard-drinking and chain-smoking or not? His wit was not exactly in evidence when he accused his opponent of being more or less anti-Czech because he had spent the years of Communism in Austria, having been thrown out of the country under President Benes by those infamous decrees. In fact, one of the things this election does tell us about the Czech Republic is that the people are still sensitive enough on the issue not to wish to discuss it.

As so often the case, it is the man who seems to have "links with former communist officials and businessmen with links to Russia" who has been brandishing the nationalist ideas.

As to President-Elect Zeman being in favour of further European integration, that does not make him any different from his opponent. I fear that with the retirement of Vaclav Klaus, Europe has lost its only rational politician.


  1. .....with the retirement of Vaclav Klaus, Europe has lost its only rational politician....

    I fear you are right. At least he won't stay silent:

    Klaus to join U.S. Cato Institute in spring


    1. I was reassuring some of my libertarian Hungarian friends that Klaus will not disappear. This is very good news, indeed.

  2. i just want to know if what made him rational while the others not? just want to be fair and unbiased.

  3. To start with Klaus does not believe in a European demos, and he does not believe in anthropogenic climate change. Two rational standpoints that differentiates him from the huge majority of leading polticians in the EU.


  4. Or, in other words, he does not go along with the consensus but prefers to look at evidence and think matters through for himself.

  5. Maybe a little too pessimistic; it seems that Zeman was Klaus' preferred candidate. Apart from his euro abberation, he may actually be quite sound on a number of important issues, e.g. the green scam.
    Lumo at is entertainingly partisan on the subject.
    Local gossip seems to confirm that trendy opinion favoured the Prince over the Pauper and was quite miffed with the eventual result.