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Vaclav Klaus re-elected Czech president

WARSAW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Czech Republic's incumbent President Vaclav Klaus has been re-elected head of state by parliament, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Miloslav Vlcek, said on Friday.

Euro-skeptic Klaus was supported by 141 members from both houses of parliament in the third round of voting. His main rival, a U.S. economics professor of Czech origin, Jan Svejnar, who backs closer integration into the EU, was supported by 111. 140 votes were needed to win election.

The bicameral parliament elects the president in up to three rounds of voting. In the third round, the houses vote together, and a simple majority of those present is required for election. 279 out of a total 281 members of parliament took part in the vote on Friday.

Klaus, 67, an architect of economic reforms in the ex-Communist state in the early 1990s when he was prime minister, is supported by the ruling Civic Democratic Party. The president is a largely ceremonial post in the Czech Republic, but the head of state has the right to appoint the prime minister, top judges and the board of the National Bank.

Klaus has backed Washington's plans to deploy a radar in the country as part of the U.S. missile defense shield.

Washington also wants to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland, along with the Czech radar, to counter a missile threat from Iran and other "rogue" states. Russia has fiercely opposed the plans, viewing them as a destabilizing factor for Europe and a threat to its national security.

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