PRAGUE, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Former Czech prime minister Milos Zeman won the country's first direct presidential election on Saturday, beating the conservative opponent Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenber.
He will replace outgoing president Vclav Klaus in March.
The following is a brief introduction of Milos Zeman's political background.
Milos Zeman served as former Social Democratic prime minister from 1998 to 2002. He left the Social Democratic party following disagreements with his successor Jiri Paroubek.
Zeman is center-left oriented and is known for his ability to make deals with Civic Democratic rivals. He is popular among middle and lower strata of population.
Born on Sept. 28, 1944, in the central Bohemian town of Kolin, he joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC) in 1968 but was expelled in 1970. In 1969, he graduated from the University of Economics (VSE) in Prague.
He worked in the Sportpropag company from 1971 to 1984, where he built the department of complex modelling. After his Sportpropag center was dissolved in 1984, he worked for Agrodat agricultural company.
Zeman joined Social Democrats (CSSD) in 1992 and was elected chairman of CSSD in 1993.
During the 1996-2002 period, he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies. In March 1997, he was re-elected as the leader of CSSD.
On July 17, 1998, Zeman was appointed as prime minister, concluding a power-sharing pact with the Civic Democratic Party (ODS).
In 2002, Zeman retired as pensioner, moving from Prague to his cottage in Nove Veseli in the Vysocina region. In 2003, he was defeated by President Vaclav Klaus as a presidential candidate,.
Zeman left CSSD in March 2007 and found a new party Citizens' Rights Party (SPOZ) in 2009. He was elected SPOZ leader in 2010. He resigned as SPOZ leader after the failure in the election of Chamber of Deputies.