They had discussed the campaign for the upcoming presidential election. Photo credit: Vlada.cz.
Prague, Dec 12 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman met presidential candidate and former prime minister Andrej Babis, leader of the opposition ANO party, at the presidential manor in Lany near Prague yesterday, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek wrote on Twitter.
Zeman told Czech Radio that they had discussed Babis’s presidential program and campaign for the upcoming presidential election.
Zeman previously met trade union leader Josef Stredula and former Charles University rector Tomas Zima, who are also running for president. He said he did not plan to meet any other presidential candidates.
Babis told CTK that he had only wished the president a merry Christmas and brought him a braided sweet bread, traditionally eaten during Christmas, made in Pumpa Pruhonice, which is owned by the Imoba company from Babis’s trust funds.
The previous meeting of Babis and Zeman took place in Lany on 30 October. Both Zeman and Babis refused to comment on their meeting then, but Babis announced later that day that he would run for president, having originally planned to announce his candidacy at a press conference on the following day.
Babis told journalists later that Zeman was glad he had decided to run for the head of state. Zeman said in July that he would support Babis and trade union leader Josef Stredula in the presidential election.
Zeman’s presidential mandate will expire in early March. He has been president since 2013.
The first round of the Czech presidential election will be held on 13-14 January, and the possible second round two weeks later. Opinion polls show that Babis, former rector Danuse Nerudova and former army general Petr Pavel are the favourites in the election.