Klaus 2.0

After three rounds of elections, incumbent President Vaclav Klaus won a second five-year term on Friday, leaving him in office until 2013. Klaus just barely beat out opponent Jan Svejnar by securing 141 votes out of the 280 legislative seats in both the lover house and the senate, as 140 votes was the minimum for election; Svejnar received 111 votes in this final round.

The first round of elections took place on the 8th and 9th of February, and resulted in more arguing than voting. Svejnar, a University of Michigan economics professor, had support from mostly the Social Democrats and the Greens, while Klaus' main supporters were the current governing party, the right-wing Civil Democrats. He is the party founder and was prime minister throughout the 1990s, under Vaclav Havel. Among Czech citizens, he currently enjoys a 60 percent approval rating. Klaus has proven that he has a strong stance on several current debates, such as imposing a smoking ban (against), EU-imposed environmental regulations (against), and keeping good relations with the United States by installing an American missile shield (for). However, Klaus tends to be more Euro-sceptic than pro-EU, and as the Czech Republic becomes more and more integrated into Europe, some compromises will have to be made in the future.