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Czech Presidential Elections in the US

For the first time in history, Czech citizens had the opportunity to directly elect their next President who will succeed Vaclav Klaus after his second term expires on March 7. Nine candidates participated in the first round on January 11-12.

The top two, former Prime Minister Milos Zeman and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg, advanced to the second round that was held on January 25-26. Zeman captured almost 55 percent of votes in the run-off and thus was elected President. His inauguration will take place on March 8 at the Prague Castle when he will begin to serve his five-year term in the office.

Hundreds of Czechs used the opportunity to cast their votes here in the United States, either at the Embassy in Washington, DC, or at one of the Consulates General – in New York, in Chicago or in Los Angeles. There were those who just happened to be visiting the US at the time of the elections but also many of those who have lived here for quite some time. The turnout was similar to 2010 when the last elections to the Chamber of Deputies were held. Minister Schwarzenberg won the majority of votes in each of the US cities where the elections were held.

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