In the second round of presidential elections in the Czech Republic, a clear victory for former chief of staff Petr Pavel and disaster for former prime minister and billionaire Andrej Babis are on the horizon. After counting 15 percent of polling stations, Pavel was ahead with 53.5 percent, while Babis trailed with 46.5 percent. Voter turnout can reach 70%.
Given the expected vote count projections, the number of votes for Pavel can be expected to grow faster than for Babis. The first to be counted are smaller polling places in rural areas, where Babis and his ANO movement have better approval ratings. Polling stations in larger cities and especially in the capital Prague, where people traditionally tend to vote against Babis, will come later.
A significant result is expected throughout the afternoon. No projections or forecasts are published. The current head of state, Milos Zeman, will step down after ten years in early March.
In the Czech Republic, which also belongs to the EU and NATO, the President has predominantly representative functions. He also appoints the government and constitutional judges. He is also the supreme commander of the armed forces. During the election campaign, Babis tried to portray Pavel as a warmonger. The former chief of staff spoke out in favor of continued support for Ukraine in the fight against Russia.