Miloš Zeman (Czech pronunciation: ( listen); born September 28, 1944 in Kolín) is a well-known Czech politician. He was a member and leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party. Former speaker of the chamber of deputies (lower house of the Czech parliament) from 1996 until 1998, and the prime minister of the Czech Republic from 1998 until 2002. Frequent rival of Václav Klaus. He transformed a weak Czech Social Democratic Party into one of country's major parties along with the Civic Democratic Party.
His selection for replacement was Vladimír Špidla to replace him as next leader of the party. Zeman then retired and moved to live ordinary life in countryside (Vysočina Region). His nomination for Czech president failed six months later (to Václav Klaus) due to party disunity. Zeman became outspoken critic of his former political party leaders.
He is known for his sharp, even insulting, speeches and wit. The Czech Republic economy became stronger during his tenure as prime minister.