CZECH REPUBLIC (Conspiracy Talk News) – Milos Zeman once said he wanted “death for all abstainers and vegetarians”, he has declared war-literally-to journalists and on environmental groups he said he would treat them “in the medieval way: he would burn them, urinate on them and I would throw salt at them. “
He is a great admirer of Donald Trump and one of the fiercest defenders of Vladimir Putin.
It is Milos Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic whose voters go to the polls this weekend in the first round of presidential elections that are considered as a referendum on the 73-year-old president .
Zeman has been in power since March 2013 and is the leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party since 1990. And now he is emerging victorious in the first round of the elections on Friday and Saturday.
Its platform has been a fierce anti-immigration discourse and an open contempt for minorities and refugees.
He repeatedly warned that the Czech Republic, home to 3,500 Muslims in a population of 10.5 million, may be the target of a jihadist attack and urged the Czechs to arm themselves for what he calls a possible “super holocaust.”
In 2015, for example, he warned the people of South Moravia to prepare for an invasion of Muslim migrants.
“The beauty of our women will be lost,” he told the crowd, “because they will be covered with burkas.”
“Although I can think of certain women for whom that would be an improvement,” he added.
This “threat” of the Muslim world, which Zeman calls “anti-civilization”, has become the central theme of his presidency.
As Rob Cameron, a BBC correspondent in Prague, points out, these new elections will not only be a referendum on Zeman, but also on the direction the Czech Republic will follow.
“For the majority of the candidates who present themselves to replace him in the presidential elections, the rethinking of the orientation of the Czech Republic towards the West is one of the main issues on his agenda,” the correspondent points out.
Indeed, the Czech president has become one of the most outspoken opponents of the European Union’s sanctions against Moscow and his political ally, the newly appointed prime minister Andrej Babis, supports the president’s vision.
Among his closest advisers is the founder of the Czech subsidiary of the Russian oil giant Lukoil.
And Zeman has also made it his priority to improve his country’s relations with Beijing, as demonstrated by an official visit by the Chinese president.
“Not everyone has seen these relationships beneficial to the country,” says Cameron. He adds that “today the Czech Republic is divided as never before by President Zeman and where he places his loyalties”.
Michal Horacek, music producer, entrepreneur and now presidential candidate told the BBC: “I do not want the Czech Republic to become a Trojan horse for entities like the Russian Federation and China.”
“Prague Castle (the official presidential residence) needs to be fumigated,” headds. “I want the castle to be a showcase, a bright light of transparency for this country.”
Zeman’s main contender in the upcoming elections, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Jiri Drahos, is equally outspoken.
“In Czech we say that ‘the fish stinks from the head’ and this perfectly sums up Zeman’s presidency,” he told the BBC.
“It has damaged our international reputation, it has isolated key economic and security partners, it has cheapened public discourse and is giving more and more pleasure to extremists.”
These are the last two points, says the BBC correspondent, those that most divide the nation.
For his supporters, Zeman is a frank man, master of ingeniously politically incorrect comments: an old-school politician, heavy smoker and heavy drinker, a president who talks about the fears and hopes of the average Czech.
His “astute comments”, however, have caused controversy and “shame.”
Last October, during a press conference, Milos Zeman took to new levels his open hostility towards journalists by holding a replica of an assault rifle with the inscription: “Towards journalists.”
“Look at the inscription,” Zeman said smiling about the toy gun he had received during a visit to the west of the country.
In 2015 he appeared on stage with a group of Islamophobes and ultra-nationalists and two years later was the main speaker at a conference of the Freedom and Direct Democracy anti-immigration party.
This has caused widespread surprise since Zeman, who was a communist, describes himself as a leftist.
Klara, a young woman who will vote for the first time this weekend, wants to see a change of direction in her country.
“I think President Zeman does not represent the country as he should,” he told the BBC, “sometimes he behaves as if he were not our president, I’m ashamed .”
There has also been talk of the health problems of the president, who has type 2 diabetes whose sequels have caused him difficulties walking during public presentations and is supported by a cane.
In his campaign he has promised to be the president of “the 10 million down,” in a clear snub to the country’s urban and liberal elites, who did not vote for him in the last elections.
His supporters are in cities such as Ostrava, Zlin or his native Kolin, especially among the oldest and least educated voters.
If opinion polls are correct, voters are willing to re-elect him.
But if one of the rivals wins, this will represent a huge change in the politics of this country that celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.