Sokol gets more support

The Christian Democrats and Freedom Union, the two smaller parties in the Czech governing coalition, have voiced preliminary support for university professor Jan Sokol as their candidate in the third round of presidential elections, due to be held on February 28th. Mr. Sokol, whose nomination was officially approved by the Social Democratic Party leadership on Saturday, appears to be the most acceptable figure so far to the three parties of the governing coalition who, due to their slim majority in parliament, need to unite behind a single candidate. If nominated, Mr. Sokol will stand against the former Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, the official candidate of the opposition Civic Democrats. A third failure to elect a new president would most likely tip the scales in favour of direct presidential elections.