On Sunday, the chair of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, announced that he would run for president of the Czech Republic.
“When I saw how little the government helps people, how inactive it is, how slow it is to help, I finally decided to run. So I will run for the post of President of the Czech Republic. Tomorrow I will ask for the support of the Presidency of the ANO movement, and I will ask our MPs for their support,” Babiš said. The candidacy, which must be submitted by November 8, requires the signatures of 20 MPs.
“If I get that support and become president, I will do my best and appeal to the government and all politicians to put the interests of Czech citizens first, to help them even more. People are turning to me, and I have promised them that I will not let them down,” Babiš said.
He added that he is aware that he has little chance of success. “However, I am a fighter, so I will do my best to convince people that I will be a good candidate for the presidency,” Babiš said of his chances of being elected.
The 87-year-old politician is one of the richest Czechs and is the founder of the Agrofert chemical and food concern. He is now standing trial as a defendant in a case of subsidy fraud in constructing the Čapí hnízdo complex.
The decision was postponed
.There has been speculation about Babiš’s possible candidacy for several months. However, Babiš rejected any claims that he was preparing the ground for the presidential elections in January, claiming that these trips were a campaign for the ANO movement ahead of the September local and senate elections.
Polls have long ranked Babiš among the favorites in the battle for the presidential election. He has recently been leapfrogged, and the candidate to win is retired general Petr Pavel. He will likely face him in a second round, but the agencies say Pavel will emerge victorious.
The former prime minister and head of the strongest opposition party have repeatedly pushed back the announcement of his possible participation in the election contest. He called a press conference on Monday to announce the decision. However, he finally made it a day before.
The first round of the presidential election will be held on January 13 and 14 and the second two weeks later.