Europe

Czech president wants to get re-elected without campaign

  • Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman arrives to deliver a statement for media in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 10, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump's European ally Milos Zeman said he wants to seek re-election in next year's Czech presidential election. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman arrives to deliver a statement for media in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 10, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump's European ally Milos Zeman said he wants to seek re-election in next year's Czech presidential election. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman holds a statement for media in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 10, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump's European ally Milos Zeman said he wants to seek re-election in next year's Czech presidential election. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman holds a statement for media in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 10, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump's European ally Milos Zeman said he wants to seek re-election in next year's Czech presidential election. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

  • Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman holds a statement for media in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 10, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump's European ally Milos Zeman said he wants to seek re-election in next year's Czech presidential election. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

    Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman holds a statement for media in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, March 10, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump's European ally Milos Zeman said he wants to seek re-election in next year's Czech presidential election. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)  (The Associated Press)

Czech President Milos Zeman says he is offering continuity and is not planning any campaign ahead of next year's presidential elections.

In his first comments after deciding to run for a second five-year term, Zeman said on Friday he would not participate in any debate with other candidates and also pledged not to attack them.

The 72-year-old says his health is stable and his diabetes and neuropathy are not an issue.

Known for his anti-migrant rhetoric, Zeman divides the nation with his pro-Russia stance and support for closer ties with China. But he remains popular and is considered a favorite in the early 2018 ballot.

Zeman was among the few European leaders who endorsed Donald Trump for U.S. president, and he has been invited to visit the White House in April.