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Czechs elect president by direct vote for first time

Last Updated: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 00:21

Prague: Former leftist Prime Minister Milos Zeman appears to be heading for victory in the first round of the presidential election in the Czech Republic.

With the votes from more than 50 per cent of polling stations counted today, Zeman was leading with 25.37 per cent of the vote.

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and another former premier Jan Fischer were fighting for the second with 20.35 and 17.37 per cent, respectively.

Czechs are electing the country`s president in a direct popular vote for the first time, choosing from nine candidates to replace euro-skeptic President Vaclav Klaus.

Zeman and Fischer were considered favourites.

If no candidate achieves a majority, the top two finishers will face each other in a runoff in two weeks.

Klaus` second and final term in office ends March 7.


First Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 00:21
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