On January 12 -13 Czechs will go to the polls to elect the country’s next head of state. The incumbent president, Miloš Zeman is running for a second term in office, challenged by a host of candidates – including politicians, business leaders, and activists.

Czech law stipulates that in order to qualify for the ballot, candidates must gather 50,000 signatures from citizens, or win support from twenty deputies or ten senators. The candidates must file their applications and hand over the respective signatures in support of their candidacy to the Interior Ministry 66 days before the election in order to give the ministry time to verify a sample of the signatures.

President Miloš Zeman who is fighting for re-election as an independent candidate announced on Monday that he had collected 113, 000 signatures in his support, telling fans that he was fit and ready to challenge his rivals for the top post. His age and ailing health appear to be his main drawbacks.

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