Babiš has not stated whether he will run for president

Vít Šimánek

After Saturday’s speech by former Prime Minister and ANO chair Andrej Babiš at the movement’s national election assembly, it is unclear whether he will run for the presidency. His possible candidacy remains a matter of speculation.

President Milos Zeman’s second five-year term ends next March. According to the Constitution, he cannot run for office again. The presidential contest will most likely take place in January next year.

For months, there has been speculation as to whether Babiš will want to take part in the fight for the Castle. Questions in this direction have intensified after the October parliamentary elections, which the ANO movement did not win and went into opposition as the strongest opposition party with 72 MPs. Babiš himself is an ordinary MP and not even a parliamentary committee member.

In December, the ex-premier bought a caravan, which he intends to use to travel around the country and meet with citizens in the coming months. Many political analysts consider this the beginning of a presidential campaign. However, the chairman of the ANO movement is neutral about his possible candidacy, saying he will announce his decision in the autumn.

Several people have already announced their candidacy in the presidential elections. One of the most prominent names is retired general Petr Pavel. Other candidates interested in running are businessman and philanthropist Karel Janeček, senators Pavel Fischer and Marek Hilšer, former ERO chairwoman Alena Vitásková, and communist Josef Skála. A total of 13 people have confirmed their interest so far.

According to a recent statement by President Miloš Zeman, it is Babiš who is most likely to have the support of the president.