Vaclav Klaus elected president of Czech Republic

01-03-2003

Politicians and the media have been responding to the election of the conservative former prime minister Vaclav Klaus as the new president of the Czech Republic. Mr Klaus succeeds his long-time Vaclav Havel, who led the country for 13 years after the fall of Communism. Mr Klaus - until recently leader of the opposition Civic Democrats - won by a majority of just two votes in Friday's election, a joint session of the two houses of parliament. He won thanks to the support of the opposition Communist Party and a group of rebel MPs from the ruling coalition, who refused to vote for the coalition's official candidate Jan Sokol.