PRAGUE – The current president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, won on Saturday the two-day, second-round, national presidential elections with 51.8 percent of the vote, according to a 98 percent vote recount of all electoral colleges.
The euroskeptic president of the Czech Republic defeated the independent, pro-European candidate Jiri Drahos, who obtained 48.2 percent of the vote.
Drahos conceded his defeat to Zeman in an announcement to his supporters: “I would like to congratulate election winner Milos Zeman.”
According to Saturday’s results, the also former 73-year-old social democrat prime minister will remain another five years at Prague’s castle, the official residence of the Czech president.
Drahos, an independent academic with no former political affiliation or political experience, presented his candidacy as the pro-European option challenging Zeman, a veteran politician who in the past years had become an open euroskeptic and critical of the European Union’s Russian sanctions.
Some 8.3 million Czech voters were called to cast their vote to elect the republic’s head of state, a mainly formal post with some say in the appointment of the republic’s prime minister and its judges.
The presidential elections took place in a second voting round that began on Friday afternoon and ended on Saturday morning with 66 percent of the voters going to the poll stations, that is 4 percent more than two weeks ago when the first round took place.