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Zeman re-elected as Czech president

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By Euronews
Zeman re-elected as Czech president

The Czech Republic's incumbent president Milos Zeman has won a second five year term after beating his rival Jiri Drahos.

According to Czech television, Zeman who is pro-Russian and a strident opponent of immigration, took 52% of the vote, narrowly beating Drahos, a pro-EU academic with no prior political experience.

The win is seen as a tacit endorsement Zeman's tough stance against immigration and his courtship of Russia and China.

Drahos won in most of the main cities while Zeman’s support was primarily in smaller towns and the country. He was seen as a political novice who was more oriented towards the West than Zeman.

Despite losing Drahos says he will remain in politics. "After the candidacy, after the campaign, with plenty of people, the support of those people, I have decided to stay within public life, in politics," he said.

Euronews correspondent Beatrix Asboth says Drahos was greeted with a huge round of applause at the Prague conference centre after his defeat. But his supporters were disappointed the majority of voters wanted politics to continue in the same way and voted for the eurosceptic Milos Zeman.