Czech Election: President Zeman to Face Drahos in Run-off

Vladimir Putin in a meeting with President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman. Photo: Russian President's government website
Vladimir Putin in a meeting with President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman. Photo: Russian President's government website

The Czech presidential election will enter a run-off round after the candidates failed to secure enough votes to form a government.

The incumbent president Milos Zeman was found to lead the first round after nearly all the votes were counted.

The incumbent Czech President Milos Zeman has won nearly 39% of the votes whilst his nearest rival Jiri Drahos won 26.3% of the votes.

The turn around in the Czech presidential election was 61%.

The incumbent President Milos Zeman is a 73-year-old pro-Russian politician who joined the Communist Party in 1968 during the Prague Spring. He entered the left-leaning Social Democratic Party after the fall of communism to become its leader in 1993.

Mr. Zeman became the President of Czech Republic in 2013 and now seeking a second term in office for five years as Czech President.

His re-election as the President of Czech Republic turned challenging after his contentious remarks, outspoken views and pro-Russian stance stoked controversy.

In an anti-immigrant attempt, once Mr. Zeman was recorded as saying that ‘Muslims are impossible to integrate into Europe.”

He was expected to have better results in the rural areas which he apparently failed to secure in the first round of the presidential election.

Mr. Zeman had to win at least more than half of the total votes to avoid a run-off which is due to be held on 26-27 January.

Mr. Drahos has a good chance of winning the run-off when the top two candidates including the incumbent President will appear in the race as the analysts predict.

The voters who voted anyone except Mr. Zeman are highly expected to cast their votes for Mr. Drahos as BBC analyzed.

Studied in chemistry and technology Mr. Drahos has been the president of Czech Academy of Sciences from 2009 to 2017.

He is known for his pro-EU and NATO stance. His supporters regard him as a centrist politician who can unite the country.

He turned out to be the main contender to the incumbent President Mr. Zeman in the first run off and poses a major threat in the second run-off.

Mr. Drahos has been an outspoken critic of Mr. Zeman’s term as president. “We say in Czech that ‘the fish stinks from the head’ and that perfectly sums up Mr. Zeman’s term,” Drahos said in Zeman’s criticism.

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