Former prime minister Milos Zeman won the first direct Czech presidential election in January 2013, beating conservative Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg by a margin of 55% to 45%.
Unlike his predecessor, the notoriously euro-sceptic Vaclav Klaus, Mr Zeman describes himself as a euro-federalist and is an advocate of closer European integration, though he believes that the Czech Republic should take its time over joining the euro.
Like Mr Klaus, Mr Zeman thrives on confrontation and is keen to exercise his presidential powers to the full, even if this means entering into conflict with the Czech government.
His appointment of a close ally, Jiri Rusnok, as prime minister following the resignation of Petr Necas in June 2013 met with the fierce opposition of the main political parties, who accused him of staging a power-grab.
Mr Zeman's critics said that the move undermined democracy and accused him of trying to introduce a semi-presidential system, which one outgoing minister from the Necas government described as "Putinesque".
Mr Zeman effectively retired from politics in 2003, after failing to beat Mr Klaus in the election to succeed Vaclav Havel as president. Even his own Social Democratic party split over whether to back him.
Political analysts attribute his spectacular comeback to his harnessing of discontent among older and poorer voters with the Necas government's handling of the economic downturn.
In his younger days, he was frequently dismissed from various posts because of his criticism of the Communist system's economic failings, and played a prominent part in the Civic Forum movement that helped oust the pro-Soviet government in 1989.
He rose to be Social Democratic prime minister in 1998-2002, but quit the party after his presidential election humiliation the following year. He now leads the small social-democratic Party of Civic Rights, which does not have any seats in parliament.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Country name > Conventional short form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
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- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"Czech Republic Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Czech-Republic/Government
"Czech Republic Government Stats, NationMaster." 1918-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Czech-Republic/Government>.
'Czech Republic Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Czech-Republic/Government> [assessed 1918-2014]
"Czech Republic Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1918-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Czech-Republic/Government>.
"Czech Republic Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1918-2014.
"Czech Republic Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Czech-Republic/Government (assessed 1918-2014)
"Czech Republic Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Czech-Republic/Government (last visited 1918-2014)
"Czech Republic Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/Czech-Republic/Government (as of 1918-2014)