Miloš Zeman (68) was elected the President of the Czech Republic in the direct election on Saturday, January 26th, 2013. Zeman (Party of Civic Rights, Strana Práv Občanů – Zemanovci, SPOZ) gained 54,80 % of votes. His opponent, Prime minister and the candidate of the TOP06 Party Karel Schwarzenberg (75) gained 45,19 % of votes. The campaign preceding the second round of the election was heated.
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Sauli Niinistö, a former finance minister and speaker of the parliament from the conservative National Coalition party received 62,7 per cent of the votes, a result which came as no surprise. Sauli Niinistö has throughout the entire presidential campaign been clear on how the role of the new president is to be played. Since the president has a direct mandate from the people he is entitled to engage also in other policy domains than those prescribed in the Finnish constitution.
When the voters go to the polls for the second round of the Finnish presidential election on Sunday February 5, the ultimate winner will be destined for a significantly weakened presidential office. The role of the future president was of the main issues during the first round of electoral campaign and will be further debated during the upcoming week between the two finalists.
The first round of the Finnish presidential elections last Sunday both fulfilled expectations and offered surprising results. Sauli Niinistö, the candidate of the National Coalition party, was as expected given the greatest number of votes. The competition about the second ticket to the presidential final turned out to be a much more exciting and a close race than expected.