Czech Republic

Articles about voting issues in the Czech Republic.

Czech Republic: Foreigners can vote in Czech local elections, but show little interest | Radio Prague

The Czech Republic’s communal elections, which will take place this Friday and Saturday, differ from their presidential and parliamentary equivalents in that citizens of other EU member states are also allowed to vote. This includes those living in the country on a temporary basis. However, interest in political engagement seems low among foreigners living in the country, with only a few thousand deciding to register. While EU citizens with permanent residence have been able to vote in communal elections since the country entered the EU in 2004, Czech law was unclear about whether those with temporary residency status can do so as well. Following a court ruling in 2014 the Ministry of Interior issued a recommendation to local district councils that they accept applications from temporary EU residents.

Full Article: Foreigners can vote in Czech local elections, but show little interest | Radio Prague.

Czech Republic: Czech Republic Re-elects Milos Zeman, Populist Leader and Foe of Migrants | The New York Times

After an election campaign centered on questions of civility in politics and the Czech Republic’s place in Europe, voters decided on Saturday to stick with President Milos Zeman and his often-caustic brand of populism that has stoked resentment toward Muslim immigrants and ruptured the country’s relationship with its allies to the west. His opponent, Jiri Drahos, a political novice whose views were not well known, sought to present himself as an antidote to what he characterized as Mr. Zeman’s bitter and divisive leadership. In recent years, Mr. Zeman, 73, has strengthened the country’s ties with Russia and has courted China. Mr. Drahos, 68, offered a firm commitment not just to the country’s membership in the European Union, but also to the bloc’s values. In rejecting his vision, the country was poised to continue in the same euroskeptic direction as its neighbors Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Full Article: Czech Republic Re-elects Milos Zeman, Populist Leader and Foe of Migrants - The New York Times.

Czech Republic: Pro-Europe Czechs hope for early spring in Prague, push to defeat Putin-friendly president | The Washington Post

Over more than a millennium, the awe-inspiring Prague Castle has been home to Bohemian kings, Holy Roman emperors, Nazi commanders, communist apparatchiks and one playwright-turned-dissident who helped topple a superpower. Now the castle’s imposing stone walls and soaring Gothic spires are home to yet another era-defining figure — a president who for the past five years has turned it into a citadel of European populism. As Czech president, Milos Zeman has used his lofty official residence to hurl down verbal thunderbolts expressing, in characteristically profane terms, his disdain for Muslims, journalists and the European Union. He has meanwhile shown fawning admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and others who can bend democratic systems to their iron nationalist will. 

Full Article: Pro-Europe Czechs hope for early spring in Prague, push to defeat Putin-friendly president - The Washington Post.

Czech Republic: Presidential election on a knife-edge as challenger cries foul | The Guardian

Miloš Zeman, the populist Czech president, faces a fight for his political life in an election run-off against a pro-western liberal rival who claims he has been the victim of dirty tricks. With the outcome on a knife-edge, Zeman’s challenger, Jiří Drahoš, a former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences who is campaigning to cement the Czech Republic’s place in the EU and Nato, says he has been smeared as a paedophile, communist collaborator and pro-immigrant elitist with ties to Angela Merkel. The accusations could have a decisive effect, with opinion polls showing Drahoš has a slight edge over Zeman heading into the ballot, to be held on Friday and Saturday.

Full Article: Czech presidential election on a knife-edge as challenger cries foul | World news | The Guardian.

Czech Republic: Fake News Kicks Into High Gear In Czech Presidential Runoff | RFERL

In the first round of the Czech presidential election earlier this month, Jiri Drahos was variously portrayed — without substantiation — as a pedophile, a thief, and a communist collaborator. The smears were part of a string of unfounded allegations in social media and on websites suspected of dealing in fake news. Now that the pro-Europe challenger’s campaign in a second-round runoff against incumbent Milos Zeman, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s strongest allies in central Europe, is in full swing, the disinformation gloves have come off once again.

Full Article: Fake News Kicks Into High Gear In Czech Presidential Runoff.

Czech Republic: Presidential election headed for tight run-off vote -poll | Reuters

Czech voters are equally split ahead of a presidential vote next weekend between an academic who promises a better relationship with the European Union and incumbent Milos Zeman, who has used his time in office to push closer ties with Russia and China. A poll by Kantar TNS for Czech Television shows voters leaning 45.5 percent for Zeman and 45 percent for Jiri Drahos, who is a former head of the Academy of Sciences. In the poll, which had 1,522 respondents, some 9.5 percent were undecided or not answering. Drahos also had a slightly higher number of “certain” voters than Zeman.

Full Article: Czech presidential election headed for tight run-off vote -poll.

Czech Republic: Government resigns as prime minister fights corruption allegations | The Guardian

The Czech Republic’s minority government has resigned, plunging the country into deeper political turmoil, as its recently installed prime minister, Andrej Babiš, fights allegations that he abused an EU subsidy programme a decade ago. Wednesday’s resignation – a month after Babiš’ appointment – came a day after the government resoundingly lost a vote of confidence it had to win to stay in office. It will continue as a caretaker administration while the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, decides what to do. Zeman – a populist who has earned notoriety for xenophobic statements – had pledged to reappoint Babiš, a close ally, in the event of Tuesday’s confidence vote defeat, which had been widely anticipated.

Full Article: Czech government resigns as PM fights corruption allegations | World news | The Guardian.

Czech Republic: Government loses confidence vote in parliament | Deutsche Welle

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has lost a vote of confidence in parliament on Tuesday. Originally scheduled for January 10, the vote was delayed after an eight-hour debate last week. Babis, the country’s second wealthiest man, is fighting corruption allegations related to suspicious EU subsidies that benefitted his business a decade ago. Since his ANO (Yes) party won last October’s election by a large margin, it will certainly stay in power. The only question is whether Babis will remain at the helm. Parliamentarians voted 117-78 against the prime minister. Although he and his cabinet will now be forced to resign, they will nevertheless remain during the transition until a new government can be formed.

Full Article: Czech government loses confidence vote in parliament | News | DW | 16.01.2018.

Czech Republic: President leads voting, but will face runoff election | Associated Press

Czech President Milos Zeman failed to win re-election during the first round of a presidential election Saturday and will face a runoff in two weeks against the former head of the country’s Academy of Sciences. Zeman and Jiri Drahos advanced to a second round of voting because none of the nine candidates seeking the Czech Republic’s largely ceremonial presidency received a majority of votes in the first round held Friday and Saturday. However, with almost all ballots counted by the Czech Statistics Office, Zeman had 38.6 percent of the vote, a commanding lead over Drahos’ 26.6 percent. A former diplomat, Pavel Fischer, was a distant third with 10.2 percent. Songwriter Michal Horacek finished fourth with 9.2 percent, ahead of physician Marek Hilser, who had 8.8 percent. The three pledged their support to Drahos in the runoff.

Full Article: Czech president leads voting, but will face runoff election - The Washington Post.

Czech Republic: In Czech Election, a Choice Between Leaning East or West | The New York Times

A people feeling left out, condescended to and ignored. A fear that outsiders fleeing war and poverty in Muslim nations threaten the homeland. And a deep distrust of institutions, especially governments that seem disconnected from daily concerns. From Poland to Pennsylvania Avenue, populist leaders have risen to power in recent years by tapping into these deeply emotional issues. In two weeks, one of the most outspoken of those leaders, President Milos Zeman, 73, of the Czech Republic, will face a test that could provide a barometer for the enduring strength of that message in this country and perhaps across the region. The second and final round of the presidential election will help decide whether the Czech nation continues to be drawn east toward Russia and China or moves back more fully into the embrace of the European Union.

Full Article: In Czech Election, a Choice Between Leaning East or West - The New York Times.

Czech Republic: Miloš Zeman to face run-off after topping Czech presidential elections | The Guardian

The Russia-friendly Czech president, Miloš Zeman, has won the first round of voting to retain his job, according to nearly complete results from Saturday’s poll. However, he will face a formidable challenge from the pro-western runner-up, Jiří Drahoš, in the second round of voting in two weeks. The vote was seen as a referendum on the 73-year-old Zeman, in office since 2013, who has criticised immigration flows from Muslim countries and Germany’s decision to accept many migrants. While most Czechs share his views on immigration, Zeman’s inclination towards far-right groups and his warm relations with Russia and China have split public opinion, with a sizeable chunk of the electorate favouring pro-western candidates, including 68-year-old academic Drahoš.

Full Article: Miloš Zeman to face run-off after topping Czech presidential elections | World news | The Guardian.

Czech Republic: Czechs head to the polls to elect next president | Al Jazeera

Three months after the election of the populist Eurosceptic and billionaire Andrej Babis as prime minister, Czechs will once again head to the polls on Friday and Saturday to elect a new president. The favourite in the field of nine candidates vying for a spot in the election runoff later this month is the outspoken incumbent, President Milos Zeman, who at 73 has watched his country become more politically divided during his five-year tenure. As a member of an increasingly right-wing regional alliance of Central European nations, named the Visegrad Group, that includes Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, the Czech Republic stands at an ideological crossroads with the rise of the country’s xenophobic far right, which rose to parliament in October’s legislative elections.

Full Article: Czechs head to the polls to elect next president | Elections 2017 News | Al Jazeera.

Czech Republic: Czechs fear Russian fake news in presidential election | Financial Times

From the US to Germany, security officials have warned about the growing threat to elections from Russian disinformation campaigns — and in the Czech Republic there are fears that this week’s presidential election could become the next target. Miloš Zeman, seen as one of Russia’s most outspoken backers within the EU, is running for re-election. Following revelations about the scale of Russian efforts to influence the US presidential election in 2016, Czech politicians and officials are worried Russia could try similar moves.

Full Article: Czechs fear Russian fake news in presidential election.

Czech Republic: Cyber security office to assist in presidential election | Prague Monitor

The Czech cyber and information security office (NUKIB) seated in Brno will operate in an emergency mode during the January 12-13 presidential election, with up to 25 experts ready to ward off any cyber attack, which may happen, NUKIB spokesman Radek Holy told CTK on Thursday. A hacker attack in the wake of the October general election caused drop-outs of the election websites of the Czech Statistical Office (CSU). It is being investigated by the police. NUKIB has been operating since the summer of 2017 with the aim of providing support in case of cyber attacks.

Full Article: Cyber security office to assist in presidential election | Prague Monitor.

Czech Republic: Government resigns, making way for election winner Babis | Reuters

The Czech center-left government of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka stepped down on Wednesday, making way for billionaire Andrej Babis, who won an election last month, to take power in time for an EU summit in December. “The government approved its resignation, the resignation will be delivered to the president today,” Sobotka told reporters after a regular government session. Sobotka’s coalition government was the first in 15 years to complete a full four-year term and presided over robust economic growth that helped cut unemployment to the lowest level in the EU and push up wages at the fastest pace in a decade.

Full Article: Czech government resigns, making way for election winner Babis.

Czech Republic: Election websites hacked, vote unaffected: Statistics Office | Reuters

results were hacked on Saturday afternoon, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) said on Sunday, adding that the vote count was not affected. Czechs voted on Friday and Saturday in the parliamentary election, with the results then shown on two websites that CSU maintains with an outside provider. “During the processing (of the vote), there was a targeted DDoS attack aimed at the infrastructure of the O2 company used for elections,” CSU said on its website. “As a result, servers volby.cz and volbyhned.cz had been temporarily partly inaccessible. The attack did not in any way affect either the infrastructure used for the transmission of election results to the CSU headquarters or the independent data processing.”

Full Article: Czech election websites hacked, vote unaffected: Statistics Office.

Czech Republic: DDoS Attack Takes Czech Election Sites Offline | Infosecurity

Two websites run by the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) were taken offline after a DDoS attack at the weekend tried to disrupt reporting of the country’s parliamentary elections. The results of the election, held on Friday and Saturday, were posted to the sites; showing billionaire Andrej Babiš’ populist ANO party with the largest share of the vote at nearly 30%. A statement on the CSU site reportedly had the following: “During the processing, there was a targeted DDoS attack aimed at the infrastructure of the O2 company used for elections. As a result, servers volby.cz and volbyhned.cz had been temporarily partly inaccessible. The attack did not in any way affect either the infrastructure used for the transmission of election results to the CSU headquarters or the independent data processing.” The sites are now back up and running.

Full Article: DDoS Attack Takes Czech Election Sites Offline - Infosecurity Magazine.

Czech Republic: Election Won by Anti-Establishment Party Led by Billionaire | The New York Times

n anti-establishment party founded by a billionaire oligarch overpowered the Czech Republic’s longstanding mainstream parties on Saturday, making the blunt-talking, enigmatic tycoon almost certain to become prime minister in a coalition government. Ano, the party formed by Andrej Babis, 63, had nearly 30 percent of the vote with 99 percent of ballots counted. The Social Democrats, who have been at the center of Czech politics for a quarter-century and had finished first in the previous election, came in a distant sixth with just 7 percent. The Communists were fifth. And the Christian Democrats, another party that traces its roots to the country’s founding, got less than 6 percent, perilously close to the cutoff to qualify for seats in Parliament. Ano was not the only anti-establishment party to do well. The extreme right-wing Freedom & Direct Democracy, with 10.7 percent, doubled its proportion from the previous election. That was just a fraction of a percentage point behind the youth-oriented Czech Pirate Party, an anti-establishment movement from the opposite end of the political spectrum.

Full Article: Czech Election Won by Anti-Establishment Party Led by Billionaire - The New York Times.

Czech Republic: Parties look to avoid snap election after Prime Minister quits | Reuters

Czech coalition parties sought to avoid a snap election on Wednesday and find a way to steer the country toward a scheduled vote in October after Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s shock resignation. Sobotka announced on Tuesday that he and his government would step down, less than six months before its term finishes, to resolve a long-running dispute with billionaire Finance Minister Andrej Babis, his main political rival. The Social Democrat leader, whose party trails Babis’s centrist ANO movement by a double-digit margin in polls, justified the risky and drastic step by saying that simply firing Babis would have turned him into a ‘martyr’.

Full Article: Czech parties look to avoid snap election after PM quits | Reuters.

Czech Republic: Czech Leader, in Power Struggle With Rival, Offers Resignation | The New York Times

The Czech Republic’s prime minister offered his resignation on Tuesday, saying he could no longer work with his finance minister and political rival, a populist billionaire whose party is favored in elections set for October. The prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, said he would meet President Milos Zeman this week to formally submit his resignation and that of the cabinet. It was not immediately clear if Mr. Zeman would accept the resignations. At a news conference, Mr. Sobotka said he could not defend the conduct of the finance minister, Andrej Babis, a 62-year-old magnate-turned-politician who has rejected frequent comparisons to President Trump.

Full Article: Czech Leader, in Power Struggle With Rival, Offers Resignation - The New York Times.