Petr Pavel Will be the New Czech President

Retired army general, Petr Pavel, has been elected the next president of the Czech Republic.

Mr. Pavel won the runoff against former prime minister Andrej Babiš, by the biggest margin ever in the history of Czech presidential elections.

With over to 90 percent of the votes counted Petr Pavel got over 57 percent of the vote, his contestant received 42.9 percent.

The retired NATO general said on Friday, as he cast his vote, that he wanted to be “a dignified president” for the country.

Pavel and Andrej Babiš, a former prime minister, advanced to a second round of voting because none of the eight initial candidates received an absolute majority in the first round two weeks ago.

The polls had favored Pavel, an independent candidate who came a narrow first in the opening round. Three other candidates pledged their support for Pavel ahead of the voting that started Friday.

Pavel, 61, a former chairman of NATO’s military committee, is a political newcomer. He has fully endorsed the country’s military and humanitarian support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

In the first round of the presidential elections, Pavel and Babiš received 35.4 and 34.99 percent of the vote respectively.

Miloš Zeman’s second term in office ends on March 8.

Zeman was the first president elected by popular vote. His second and final five-year term expires in March. Lawmakers elected the previous two presidents, Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus.


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