Miloš Zeman (born September 28, 1944) is the 3rd President of Czech Republic, becoming the first directly-elected Czech president and serving since 2013. He previously served in several other political positions, including as Czech prime minister from 1998 to 2002. He is the leader of the Populist Party of Civic Rights but previously led the Czech Social Democratic Party. Along with Václav Klaus and Václav Havel, Zeman is considered one of the three most prominent figures in early post-communist Czech history. While he was considered a moderate left-of-center politician earlier in his career, after becoming president, he took strong conservative and right-wing populist positions, particularly on guns, immigration, Islam, and Israel. Zeman describes himself as a "tolerant atheist". He is a chain smoker and lover of fatty foods. Zeman often extols the virtues of alcohol (see also Atheistic Czech Republic and alcoholism).
Zeman became one of Europe's strongest opponents of mass immigration early in the European migrant crisis, and he became known for his opposition to Islam. He called the migrant crisis "an organized invasion and not a spontaneous movement of refugees," and he stated that Muslim integration into Western European society is impossible. Zeman also ran on a strong anti-mass migration platform leading up to his 2018 re-election. Zeman supports moving the Czech embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He also supports gun rights.
In the 2018 Czech presidential election, Zeman narrowly defeated a liberal and pro-EU challenger. The election had been compared to other recent elections where a nationalist conservative faced off against a liberal globalist. Zeman began his second term over a month later.
Zeman is a populist and is known for his politically incorrect style.
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