Social Democrat presidential candidate launches campaign
Senator Jiří Dienstbier, the Social Democratic Party’s nominee for president, officially launched his campaign on Friday near the presidential Lány Chateau. As part of his campaign, the candidate intends to receive backing from at least 50,000 voters. Technically, as a parliamentary party nominee, Mr Dienstbier has no need of the signatures that non-party candidates must amass in order to run. But he made clear that he felt it was a minimal requirement he would fulfil. Thirteen others are at various stages of preparing their candidacies ahead of the country’s first-ever direct presidential elections, to be held early next year. One of those aiming to get elected, former prime minister Miloš Zeman, has already received the 50,000 signatures required.