Czech Republic Former General Pavel Wins Presidential Elections

Czech Republic, Former General Pavel Wins Presidential Elections

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Former general Petr Pavel won the presidential election in the Czech Republic against Andrj Babis. Pavel received 56.45% versus the 43.54% collected by his opponent and by that time had reached 80% of the ballots checked. Once in office, he will replace outgoing President Milos Zeman, who is close to Putin’s Russia ahead of a change of course with the war in Ukraine.

Pavel and former Prime Minister Andrei Babis faced each other in the second round after none of the eight candidates in the first round race achieved an outright majority in early September 2022. Polls already showed that Pavel, an independent who is ahead, had already finished the first-lap lead and was also helped by other former contenders in the final vote on Jan. 27. The new president, 61 years old and former head of the NATO military committee, played the underdog card in the elections. Among his struggles, full support for military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the war against Russia stood out.

Babis, a 68-year-old billionaire, was previously prime minister and fell into opposition when his centrist Ano (‘Yes’ in Czech) party lost the 2021 general election. He was supported by Zeman, the first president elected by popular vote, with whom she shares a Eurosceptic outlook and a habit of using anti-migrant rhetoric.

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