Czechs will go to the polls to elect the country’s next president on January 11th and 12th, 2013. The dates were announced by the speaker of the upper house, Milan Štěch. If no candidate wins an outright majority in the first round, a run-off will take place between the two most successful candidates. The successor to Václav Klaus will be known, at the latest, by the 26th of January.
Presidential candidates will now have five weeks to officially submit their bids by the November 6 deadline. Candidates not nominated by 10 senators or 20 members of the Chamber of Deputies will have had to have collected 50,000 signatures, under the election law. The Interior Ministry will check the candidatures by November 23 to see that they comply with the law. This is the first time in the country’s history that the president will be elected directly by voters. Until now, they were elected in a joint session of both houses of Parliament.