Czechs re-elect President Zeman, known for pro-Russian views

Czech President Milos Zeman, shown on January 12, had previously served as prime minister.

(CNN)Czech President Milos Zeman, a vocal opponent of immigration who favors closer ties with Russia, won a second term in office on Saturday.

Jiri Drahos
Zeman took 51.36% of the vote to defeat challenger Jiri Drahos by 152,184 votes in the runoff, the Czech Press Agency reported.
Zeman, 73, has spoken out against the European Union, Islam and immigrants, and the election was seen as an indicator of whether populist movements are gaining strength in Europe.
    Though the Czech Republic is a member of NATO, Zeman supports closer relations with Russian and China.
    Zeman was prime minister from 1998 to 2002 before being elected president in 2013.
    The Czech presidency is a largely ceremonial role, with the president's influence resting in his ability to appoint the government and prime minister. Zeman is an ally of current Prime Minister Andrej Babis, whose populist ANO party won the parliamentary election in October.
    Drahos, 68, had no experience in politics and ran as an independent.
    He is a chemist and former head of the pres