Former Czech PM Zeman elected president
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||26 January 2013|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Former Czech PM Zeman elected president, 26 January 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/512235988.html [accessed 17 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
January 26, 2013
Czech presidential candidates Karel Schwarzenberg (right) and Milos Zeman chat before their final televised debate in Prague on January 24.
Leftist former Prime Minister Milos Zeman has won the Czech Republic's first direct presidential election.
With nearly all votes counted, Zeman won 55 percent support to 45 percent for Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.
Turnout on the second and final day of voting in the run-off election on Saturday was 59 percent.
Zeman will replace outgoing President Vaclav Klaus who steps down in March after two terms in office.
The role of the Czech president is largely ceremonial. Previous presidents were chosen by parliament.
The runoff between Zeman, 68, a former Social Democrat prime minister, and Schwarzenberg, a 75-year-old titled prince, had been seen as an extremely tight contest after the two finished almost neck-and-neck in the first round earlier this month.
Based on reporting by Idnes.cz, Reuters, and AP