Up to now, the country’s parliament has chosen the
president. But the assembly agreed to hand that power over to
the electorate amid calls for more open democracy, fuelled by a
growing public perception of cronyism and corruption in the
country’s political parties.
Opinion polls suggest the leading candidates to replace
Klaus are former prime ministers Milos Zeman and Jan Fischer, in
office from 1998-2002 and 2009-2010, respectively.
Both men are much more in favour of closer cooperation with
the European Union than Klaus. Both were members of then
Czechoslovakia’s totalitarian Communist party before the
collapse of the Soviet Union.