On January 26, the country's former social-democratic prime minister, Miloš Zeman, was elected President of the Czech Republic with 54.8 per cent of the vote, defeating conservative Karel Schwarzenberg (45.2 per cent).

The Czech Republic's third president since the Velvet Revolution, following on from Václav Havel and Václav Klaus, will be sworn in on March 8. According to the daily, he intends to surround himself with controversial advisors with links to the business world, and supports a plan for early general elections.