Accessibility links

Topless Activist Confronts Czech President In Polling Station


Czech President Milos Zeman was confronted by a topless female protester with "Zeman, Putin’s Slut" scrawled across her chest as voting began on January 12 in the first round of the country's presidential election.

Shouting the same slogan, the woman ran towards Zeman, who is running for a second term, in the polling station in the Czech capital, Prague, before being quickly wrestled to the ground by Zeman's bodyguards.

Femen, an international feminist group that originated in Ukraine, said on its website that the woman was Ukrainian citizen Angelina Diash.

Zeman was quickly escorted out and returned to cast his vote shortly afterwards.

Zeman has courted controversy by voicing antimigrant views, denigrating Muslims, and warming up to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a time when many in Europe fear that Moscow is meddling in Western elections and affairs.

Zeman once called the 2015 migrant crisis "an organized invasion" of Europe, and has said that Muslims were "impossible to integrate."

Zeman is facing eight challengers, with opinion polls showing his most serious opponent is Jiri Drahos, a chemistry professor and two-time president of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

Other candidates include songwriter Michal Horacek, former right-wing premier Mirek Topolanek, and Vratislav Kulhanek, former head of Czech carmaker Skoda Auto.

On the eve of the election, Zeman stayed away from a final debate on national television, citing a prior engagement to take part in a talk-show on another channel.

Around 8.4 million Czechs were eligible to cast ballots. Polls close at 2 p.m. on January 13, and the first results are due later the same day.

If no candidate wins a majority in the first round, which analysts are expecting, the top two finishers will face off in a runoff on January 26-27.

With reporting by AP, AFP, dpa
XS
SM
MD
LG