Without any great upsets, the Czech presidential election is over. The first round was easily won by the incumbent president, Miloš Zeman. The second round of voting is set to take place in two weeks. Miloš Zeman’s opponent is the party-less Chemistry profession, Jiří Drahoš. As always, everything you need to know about the latest election you can find here on our #ElectionNews.
Zeman Wins the Czech Presidential Election – This round at least
Despite parliamentary elections taking place recently in Autumn, the Czech Republic went to the polls to vote for a new president. Miloš Zeman, who has been in office since 2013, managed to fend off competition from eight other candidates.
The majority of Zeman’s opponents were not affiliated with a party and included a songwriter, a doctor and his main opponent – a chemistry professor – Jiří Drahoš. Drahoš managed to gather 26.6% of the popular vote and will be present in the next round of voting. The former abassador to France, Pavel Fischer, received just 10.2% while the conservative ex-PM, Mirek Topolánek, was likewise defeated with 4.3% landing on sixth place.
A Rural/Urban Divide for the Czech Presidential Election
8.4 Million Czechs were registered for the election, which gathered a turnout of 60%. The 73-year-old Zeman will have to compete again in two weeks to secure another term in office. In the election campaign, he ran on a pro-Russian platform and was outspoken against the immigration of Muslims in the country.
As with many recent European elections, there was a significant discrepancy between urban and rural voters. Indeed, it was the support that Zeman was able to gather in rural areas managed to propel him towards the second round of the Czech presidential election.
Urban areas were more in favour of the pro-European candidate, Jiří Drahoš. Drahoš favours of the Czech Republic playing an integral role within the EU as well as adopting the Euro. In surveys, much of his the trust people are placing in him is due to his cultivated demeanour and his level of education. It is interesting to note that Drahoš is still against the spread of refugees throughout the EU.
For PM Babis, this early victory for Miloš Zeman is a blessing. Zeman is a staunch supporter of the millionaire and in December named him as the leader of the government. Despite this, Babis is facing a vote of confidence on Tuesday. He is looking to form a minority government and is widely anticipated to lose. He is also facing allegations of Fraud but has asked his parliamentary immunity can be lifted so that he can face these allegations head-on.
We will, of course, keep you updated with the next round of the Czech presidential election in the coming weeks.