Zeman beats Drahos to take Czech presidential runoff

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Prague – Anti-immigrant and populist incumbent Czech President Milos Zeman has won a 2d 5-300 and sixty five days timeframe in a runoff election, beating his centre-left pro-EU rival Jiri Drahos in a end droop.

The outspoken pro-Russia, pro-China Zeman used to be declared the winner with fifty one.36 percent of the vote on Saturday. Opposition candidate Drahos, who garnered Forty eight.44 percent of the votes, conceded defeat in what is assumed to be the largest presidential elections in a long time.

After going down of work in 2013, Zeman, 73, has been widely criticised for dividing the country on European disorders along with immigration and the role of Central Europe within the EU, whereas additionally cozying up to autocratic governments.

It’s miles the victory for populism. He is the of us’s image of populism and this election could per chance well be the defeat of the western, urban expert allotment of Czech society

Lubomir Kopecek, professor of political sciences

The victory has dashed hopes that the Czech Republic would return to the fold of liberal European values because it inches nearer to countries relish Poland and Hungary where some distance-honest politics is on the rise.

« It’s miles the victory for populism. He is the of us’s image of populism and this election could per chance well be the defeat of the western, urban expert allotment of Czech society, » stated Lubomir Kopecek, a professor of political sciences at Masaryk College in Czech metropolis of Brno.

‘Anti-immigrant’

Addressing newshounds and supporters – along with the heads of some distance-honest occasions – Zeman thanked the voters for his re-election.

« Let me thanks [with] all of my heart for your reduction and give a take hang of to within the election of the president of the Czech Republic. If it weren’t for you, we have not got won, » stated the 73-300 and sixty five days-passe the some distance-honest leader, sitting atrocious-legged on a sofa.

« That is my final political victory and there won ‘t be any political defeat at the assist of me, because as you successfully know the president has finest two 5-300 and sixty five days terms as outlined within the constitution and I surely originate no longer want to begin constitutional changes. »

Jakub Janda, deputy director of the enjoy-tank European Values, stated that the take demonstrated Zeman’s skill to mobilise voters in accordance to a platform that used to be both anti-immigrant and anti-establishment.

« He has bas been in top positions in Czech politics for 25 years, but has been ready to build himself as the anti-establishment by focused on the mainstream, » he stated.

« The 2d reason is that he has robust give a take hang of to within the regions open air the capital and he positions himself as a routine particular person, and no longer a baby-kisser, so he is extremely outspoken, doesn’t employ in style language and despises political correctness, calling most migrants terrorists. »

Muslims assemble a tiny 0.02 percent of the population of the Czech Republic, but Zeman capitalised on the anguish of immigrants that has swept Europe in recent years. On this election, his campaign slogan acknowledged merely: « End immigration and Drahos. This country is ours. »

Although largely ceremonial, the presidency is a big barometer for the political temperature of the country. The president additionally appoints high-rating diplomats and public officers, along with the prime minister – a reputation that lies vacant currently.

Populist billionaire Andrej Babis from the ANO event used to be forced to resign earlier this month after failing to take a vote of self assurance in parliament.

Seen as end allies, Zeman has given Babis progressively he needs to assemble a coalition after his ANO event won seventy eight seats within the 200-member chamber of deputies (the lower dwelling).

Zeman has stated he would appoint Babis as soon as he has the requisite give a take hang of to from One zero one seats. There is currently no 2d vote scheduled.

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