published: 25.01.2013, 22:18 | updated: 25.01.2013 22:33:40
Prague - The first day of the two-day second round of the Czech direct presidential election ended with polling stations closing after eight hours at 22:00, with a relatively high turnout of over two-fifths of voters today.
The turnout was slightly higher than on the first day of the first round two weeks ago.
The turnout has been the highest, almost 50 percent, in Prague, while in some regions, Karlovarsky, west Bohemia and Moravskoslezsky, north Moravia, for example, it reached about 30-35 percent today.
Compared with the first round, a higher number of voters used voter cards enabling them to cast their ballots outside their home town. This chance was used by many skiers spending their winter holiday in the mountains.
For example, in Modrava, a small village in the Sumava mountains, west Bohemia, 24 of the 65 local eligible voters turned up in the polling station, plus 151 strangers using voter cards.
The election will continue on Saturday, from 8:00 to 14:00. The preliminary results of run-off vote are to be available at www.volby.cz later tomorrow.
Earlier today, the Interior Ministry asked the electoral commissions in individual wards to carefully check all voter cards produced, in view of speculations that some voters may copy their cards and try to cast their ballots repeatedly at various places.
A few commissions have reported suspicious voter cards whose owners were admitted to the election but the cards are yet to be thoroughly examined.
The two candidates who were the most successful of nine contenders in the first round are seeking presidency in the ongoing run-off battle - former socialist PM Milos Zeman (Citizens´ Rights Party, SPOZ) and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09).
Outgoing President Vaclav Klaus, Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) and both presidential contenders cast their ballots today. Schwarzenberg´s vote is invalid, however, because he did not put his ballot paper in the official envelope as required before casting it in the box.
Due to the time shift, the second day of the election has already started for Czech expatriates living on the American continent.
In North America, Czech voters´ interest in the polls was about 50 percent higher on the first day than on the first round´s first day on January 11.
27.01.2013 | 21:27
Zeman wins Czech presidential elections with 54.8 percent
26.01.2013 | 18:34
Zeman pledges to be president of all Czechs
26.01.2013 | 18:24
Fischer indirectly supports Zeman for Czech president
21.01.2013 | 19:06
21.05.2013 | 16:28
21.05.2013 | 14:43
21.05.2013 | 12:04
President Zeman declares war to Czech democracy - German press
21.05.2013 | 11:16
Czech press survey - May 21
21.05.2013 | 07:23
Govt counts on internal debate preceding Czech adoption of euro
20.05.2013 | 16:45
Za Putnu kritizují Zemana studenti i ČSSD, docenti zvažují svou účast na jmenování