The race is on for the presidential election in the Czech Republic and the two main players – 75-year old Karel Schwarzenberg and leftist Milos Zeman are fighting tooth and nail for votes.
After accusations of back-room deals, it’s the first time the president will be selected by the public and not parliament.
Helena Policerova, a resident in Prague told euronews: “This is the first presidential election that will be done by direct vote, so everybody is new to this. That’s why the campaign turned out to be a bit dirty.”
Schwarzenberg has put his trust in young voters. Though an aristocratic prince with estates in Austria, his campaign image has been modelled on a Sex Pistols album cover in a bid to energise his style.
Supporters say his wealth makes him immune to corruption, which only serves to broaden his appeal.
But he faces criticism for his exile to Austria during the Communist period and for having an Austrian wife, who reportedly doesn’t speak any Czech.
Milos Zeman is slightly ahead in the run-off vote, with less than a one percent lead. He ruled as Prime Minister between 1998 and 2002 in a power-sharing deal with current President Vaclav Klaus.
Whoever wins, this time it’s the public that decides.
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