Czechia Re-elects Pro-Kremlin President
27 January, 2018

Czechia has re-elected Milos Zeman as president in the second round of the election, which took place January 26-27. Zeman has received 51% of the votes with 97% of the votes counted.

His opponent — the former head of the National Academy of Sciences, Jiri Drahos — received 48% of the vote.  

Zeman’s victory comes amid questions about his campaign finances and concerns about his anti-immigrant and Euroskeptic rhetoric. Although the Czech presidency is not an overwhelmingly powerful office, many voters who opposed Zeman perceived the election as an opportunity to elect a president “with more respect and dignity,” Josef Pazderka, a journalist at the news site, told Hromadske earlier this month.

READ MORE: Who’s Paying For The Czech President’s Campaign?

Zeman was the clear leader in the election’s first round on January 13, but secured just over 38% of the vote, prompting a second round. 

Zeman is known for giving voice to rising Euroskeptic and anti-immigration sentiments within Czechia. He has also supported lifting the sanctions against Russia and recognizing Moscow’s illegal annexation of Crimea.   

In Czechia, the president plays more of a ceremonial role, and the main power lies in the hands of the Prime Minister. However, the country’s current Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, is close ally and supporter of Zeman. 

/By Sofia Fedeczko