Miloš Zeman

Article

December 3, 2021

Miloš Zeman (born September 28, 1944 in Kolín) is a Czech politician, economist, forecaster and third president of the Czech Republic. He took office for the first time by taking the oath of office on March 8, 2013, and began his second term exactly five years later. In August 1989, he published a critical article on the communist regime in the Technical Magazine. During the Velvet Revolution, he joined the Civic Forum and became one of the speakers on the Letna Plain. In January 1990, he was co-opted to the Federal Assembly. In the period 1993–2001, he served as chairman of the Czech Social Democratic Party. In 1996–1998 he was the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and for the next four years he was the Chairman of the Social Democratic Minority Government, whose existence was made possible by the so-called "opposition agreement" with the Civic Democratic Party. After an unsuccessful candidacy for president of the Czech Republic in 2003, he left politics for seven years. In March 2010, he became the chairman of the newly established ZEMANOVCI Citizens' Rights Party. He resigned after the 2010 parliamentary elections, in which the party did not get into the Chamber. In the direct election in 2013, he was elected the third president of the Czech Republic and at the same time historically the first Czech president elected by direct election. He won the first round and in the decisive second round he won over the then Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. He decided to defend his presidential position in the following presidential elections in 2018, in which he advanced with Jiří Drahoš to the second round. He won 51.36% in it and defended the presidency for another five years. Zeman's second and final presidential term ends on March 8, 2023.

Personal life

Childhood and youth

He was born on September 28, 1944 in Cologne. His mother, Marie Zemanová (1917–1997), was a teacher, his father Josef Zeman (1903–1957) was a postal clerk. His parents divorced at the age of two, and he only grew up with his mother and grandmother. A father he did not associate with died when he was thirteen years old.

Study and occupation

In 1963 he graduated from the Secondary School of Economics in Cologne. At the same time, he threatened to be denied the opportunity to pass the school-leaving examination, due to a paper in which he celebrated Karel Čapek's book Conversations with T. G. Masaryk, which was banned by the communist regime. He was eventually admitted to graduation, but was not issued a recommendation to study at university. Zeman later accused his Czech language teacher of this procedure, and she refused to blame her. After graduation, he worked in the accounting office of the Tatra Kolín plant. His co-workers later recalled that he did not enjoy the job and was contemptuous of the others. Thanks to his experience in the Tatra plant, he received a recommendation for further study after two years. In addition, due to a heart defect, he received a so-called blue book and did not have to complete basic military service. In 1965, he began distance learning at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Economics in Prague, where he studied economic planning, and two years later switched to full-time study, which he completed in 1969. Subsequently, he also taught there for a year. During his studies, he lived in the Jarov dormitory. He also co-founded the discussion Student Futurological Club and was an auxiliary scientific force of Professor Pavel Hrubý. He wrote his diploma thesis with Professor Věňek Šilhán. His acquaintances at the time considered him a gifted student, as well as a conceited loner.

Family life

From his first marriage (1971–1978) with Blanka Zemanová, who was his high school classmate, he has a son, David Zeman (* 1971), who works as a doctor in the fields of clinical biochemistry and neurology. He married for the second time on August 2, 1993 with his assistant Ivana Bednarčíková (* April 29, 1965). Her daughter Kateři was born into marriage on January 1, 1994

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