zeman

Zeman not oblivious to drop in popularity

President plans better communication strategy to clarify his positions

Prague, Nov 28 (ČTK) Czech President Miloš Zeman is not oblivious to the decrease in his popularity showed by the latest opinion poll and he will work on his communication strategy in order to clearly explain his steps, Presidential Office foreign affairs head Hynek Kmoníček told Czech Television (ČT).

According to the CVVM poll released earlier this week, Zeman is trusted by 37 percent of Czechs, compared with 58 percent in the previous poll carried out in October. This has been the lowest drop in Zeman’s popularity since his presidential inauguration in early 2013.

Kmoníček said it sometimes happens that Zeman overshadows some of his crucial agenda by a sharp statement.

In reaction to the mention of Washington Post commentaries highly critical of Zeman, Kmoníček told ČT that the Czech Presidential Office will have to markedly improve the manner in which information is provided to the United States.

The Washington Post daily recently labelled Zeman “a virtual mouthpiece for Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

“I think he (Zeman) would not agree with this assessment and that it would be sorry to hear it in a way,” Kmoníček said.

He said both Washington Post articles criticising were products of the National Endowment for Democracy, indicating that this organisation is close to Zeman’s opponents in the Czech Republic.

Zeman’s opponents criticise him from abandoning the agenda of human rights protection, for example during his visit to China. Zeman’s statements are widely seen as showing too much understanding for the Kremlin. Vulgar language used in a recent live radio broadcasting did not help Zeman either, triggering a strong wave of criticism.

Kmoníček told ČT that some of the steps that Zeman planned would have to be covered by media in a better way.

He said media sometimes had a negative opinion on Zeman’s activities in advance, but he added that media cannot be blamed for the problems.

“Mr President will have to think over his communication strategy to explain really perfectly and precisely why is he taking his steps,” Kmoníček said.

He said he keeps talking about these issues with Zeman.

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