Czech President Leads Voting, Faces Runoff

Czech President Leads Voting, Faces Runoff

Czech President Milos Zeman failed to win reelection during the first round of a presidential election Saturday and will face a runoff in two weeks against the former head of the country’s Academy of Sciences. Zeman and Jiri Drahos advanced to a second round of voting because none of the nine candidates seeking the Czech Republic’s largely ceremonial presidency received a majority of votes in the first round held Friday and Saturday, AP reported. However, with almost all ballots counted by the Czech Statistics Office, Zeman had 38.6% of the vote, a commanding lead over Drahos’ 26.6%. A former diplomat, Pavel Fischer, was a distant third with 10.2%. Songwriter Michal Horacek finished fourth with 9.2%, ahead of physician Marek Hilser, who had 8.8%. The three pledged their support to Drahos in the runoff. Zeman congratulated Drahos and said he was ready to debate him before the Jan. 26-Jan. 27 runoff. Zeman didn’t take part in any debates ahead of the first round of voting.


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