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Former leftist PM wins 1st round of Czech presidential race

Former leftist Prime Minister Milos Zeman won the first round of the Czech Republic's first direct presidential election but will face strong competition in a run-off in two weeks, partial results showed on Saturday.

 

The next president will replace the strongly Euro-sceptic incumbent Vaclav Klaus, whose final term ends in March. Many Czechs, angry over a protracted recession and a raft of political sleaze scandals, have been looking for a change. Zeman, a burly 68-year-old chain-smoking economist, won 24.7 percent of the vote, results from 87 percent of voting districts showed. (Reuters)