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Which Czech presidential candidate will Romani voters choose? Apparently not Zeman

9.1.2018 11:25
The first-round candidates in the Czech presidential election of 2018.
The first-round candidates in the Czech presidential election of 2018.

The first round of elections for the President of the Czech Republic will take place this Friday and Saturday. News server has conducted an extensive survey of Romani voters about their preferred candidates.

Below is our first set of answers from prominent Romani figures. In the days to come we will publish more answers, as well as the responses of the candidates themselves to our questions about Romani subjects.

Jan Josef Rosenberg

My choice is clear, I will vote for Michal Horáček. I know him from before, I know that he is not a crooked person. The rhetoric of the other candidates is such that they are doing their best to control themselves, they want to be nice guys, but he goes directly to the heart of the matter. He is very knowledgeable, he travels around the republic and takes an interest in the people on the ground, in how they are living. They speak with him, their stories are interesting to him, he is doing his own kind of survey, and that is what he is building his program on. He knows how to call things by their real names and he isn't fake.

Cyril Koky

In the last presidential elections I voted for Zeman in the second round. I must, however, openly admit that I am disenchanted with his term, and this time I decidedly will not give him my vote because he has greatly disappointed me. The Czech Republic deserves a president who will not embarrass us, whether abroad or here at home. We need a president who will honor and respect the Constitution of the Czech Republic, not bend it to suit his own temporary purposes. Whenever I recall that embarrassment up at Prague Castle when Zeman aimed his cane at then-Prime Minister Sobotka, it makes me dizzy. I am deciding among these candidates: Drahoš, Horáček, Topolánek. I am absolutely convinced that any of them will certainly be able to handle the office of the President of the Czech Republic and that they will stand the test. In these direct elections every vote counts, so please, let's all go vote!

Jaroslav Suchý

I will vote for Jiří Drahoš because he is a strong competitor and rival to Zeman. Moreover, he is a scientist and an educated, versatile person. He objected to Zeman's remarks about Romani people and "inadaptibility", etc. He is a serious candidate and also a diplomat, in comparison with the current head of state, who is damaging and embarrassing the Czech Republic, and his election, in my opinion, can only be good for society. 

Jana Horváthová

I will vote for Jiří Drahoš. He is convincing me that he is clever and decent. I perceive the force of his intellect both at the level of logical thinking and at the social level, which is no less important. In him I see a guarantee that the Czech Republic will finally have a dignified representative about whom we will not have to feel ashamed, a person who is impartial and moral. Personally I would like to be able to look up to the president of the country as a natural authority, a role model whom it is actually possible to emulate.

Martina Horváthová

My reflections on who to vote for are more logical than emotional. First and foremost, I will choose from the candidates whose candidacies are actually authorized by citizens' signatures, i.e., from those who first asked the citizens whether they should run, who did not just rely on the will of a small number of MPs or Senators. My vote will not go to the incumbent because he has had his chance and he has disappointed us, even outraged us ... So the candidates left are Jiří Drahoš and Michal Horáček. The large number of candidates means there will be a great fragmentation of the votes of those who do not want Zeman. I hope voters are aware of this. That is why it is important to vote for the candidate who has the highest preference and is not Zeman. To me, that yields the result of Jiří Drahoš, and his experience in his position as president of the Academy of Sciences can only be a bonus - it may even be a promise that in the future he will stand up for academic values.

David Ištok

I will certainly vote. I'll begin here with who I will not vote for - Zeman. His recent remarks about Romani people and other minorities, people with social problems, etc., are alarming. The President of the Czech Republic should not incite people against each other (support extremists), rather, he should bring people together like they are doing in Slovakia (Andrej Kiska). I am choosing between three candidates: Drahoš, Hilšer and Horáček.

ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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