PRAGUE, Czech Republic Czech President Vaclav Klaus won a second five-year term Friday when lawmakers chose him over a University of Michigan economics professor.
Klaus, a dominant figure in Czech politics for nearly two decades, was supported by 141 legislators in the third round of voting by the Klaus Parliament, said Miloslav Vlcek, speaker for the parliament's lower chamber. He needed 140 votes to win.
"I will be the president of all Czech citizens," Klaus said.
Jan Svejnar, the University of Michigan professor, drew 111 votes. A third candidate, Jana Bobosikova, who had been nominated by the Communist Party, dropped out shortly before the voting began.
Under the Czech constitution, the president has the power to pick the prime minister and appoint Constitutional Court judges and members of the Czech National Bank board but otherwise has little executive power.
Klaus, 66, succeeded Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who led the 1989 revolution that toppled communism, in February 2003. He is considered a conservative known for his opposition to drug legalization, euthanasia and gay marriages.
Klaus is credited with having introduced market reforms as Czechoslovakia's finance minister. He became the Czech prime minister in 1993, when Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and was parliamentary speaker from 1998 to 2002.
Svejnar thanked his supporters and said he was undecided about his political future.
"Even if I was not elected, your support was not in vain," he said.
The Czech Republic will take over the rotating presidency of the 27-nation European Union in the first half of 2009. Klaus has criticized the EU as too centralized.
In contrast to a majority of Czech citizens, Klaus supports a U.S. plan to place a radar base near Prague as part of a missile defense shield.