Czech election: President Milos Zeman leads in first round


Czech President Milos Zeman has taken an early lead as votes are counted in the presidential election.

With 20% of results in, he had 44% with nearest rival Jiri Drahos on 23%.

However, the BBC’s Rob Cameron in Prague says there are indications that the election will go to a second round later this month.

Mr Zeman, 73, is seeking a second five-year term but has stoked controversy with his outspoken views and pro-Russian stance.

Turnout in the first round, which took place over two days, was about 60%, election officials said.

If a second round is confirmed, it is expected to be held on 26-27 January.

Mr Zeman is popular in rural areas, where his forthright views on immigrants and political correctness strike a chord, our correspondent says.

However, urban voters are more likely to agree with his pro-European challengers, who say he has poisoned the political atmosphere and unsettled allies.

The first round of voting passed uneventfully apart from a semi-naked protester who tried to disrupt Mr Zeman casting his vote in Prague on Friday.

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