Czech President Faces a Runoff After First Round of Voting

“Mr. Drahos said that he would like to meet me face to face,” the president mentioned. “I am happy to oblige him.”

Election officers mentioned voter turnout was 61.9 p.c within the preliminary election. Mr. Drahos known as on all these “who want a change” to solid ballots within the runoff.

“The final is still ahead of us, and that’s what matters,” Mr. Drahos mentioned.

Mr. Zeman, 73, a former prime minister, was elected in 2013 through the nation’s first direct presidential vote.

Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus, the earlier two presidents of the nation, had been elected by Parliament.

Under the Czech Constitution, the president picks the prime minister after a basic election, one of the workplace’s key tasks.

The president additionally appoints members of the Central Bank board and selects Constitutional Court judges with the approval of Parliament’s higher home.

Otherwise, the president has little govt energy for the reason that nation is run by a authorities chosen and led by the prime minister.

Mr. Zeman was thought-about a extra pro-European chief than his euroskeptic predecessor, Mr. Klaus, however lately he has used each alternative to assault the European Union. He has proposed a referendum on the nation’s membership within the bloc after Britain determined to go away.

He additionally has develop into recognized for robust anti-migrant rhetoric, which received him assist from the populist proper. He has divided the nation together with his pro-Russian stance and his assist for nearer ties with China.

He was one of the few European leaders to endorse Donald J. Trump’s bid for the White House.

Mr. Drahos, 68, is seen as extra Western-oriented and firmly helps the nation’s membership within the European Union and NATO.

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