Czech presidential election preliminary results

Voting has ended and counting begun on the final day of Czech presidential elections pitting current head of state, Miloš Zeman, against his challenger, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Jiří Drahoš.

Voting ended at 2 PM local time on Saturday. A higher turnout expected than in the first round when 61.9 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.

A tight race has been forecast between the two candidates. The results is expected to be announced in the late afternoon. Last time round five years ago around 5.14 million cast their votes in the second round.

The face-off to become Czech head of state for the next five years has been seen as one of stark contrasts epitomised by political veteran Zeman and newcomer Drahoš, 68. The main theme of the 68-year-old challenger’s campaign had been to bring back decency to the presidency.

Zeman, 73, is largely being judged on his past five years which have included moves to boost relations with Russia and China as well as his overt involvement in the Czech political scene and frequent blunt, outspoken, and vulgar comments.