Former NATO Military Committee chairman Petr Pavel (R) was elected the new president of the Czech Republic on Saturday, defeating former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (L). Photo: Martin Divisek/EPA-EFE
January 28 (United Press International) — Former army general and NATO officer Petr Pavel was elected as the new president of the Czech Republic on Saturday after the results of a runoff election were counted.
Pavel Received 57.6% of the vote His rival, former prime minister Andrei Babis, got just over 42 percent of the vote and more than 99 percent of the vote count.
The second term of the country’s current president, Miloš Zeman, is due to end in early March.
Pavel, 61, a retired NATO general, Served as chairman Member of the organization’s Military Council – the highest ranking military member.
“I believe we have more in common than differences,” Pavel saturday in prague says After declaring victory.
“I want to thank those who voted for me, and those who didn’t, for making it clear that they respect democracy and care about this country. I can see things like truth, dignity, respect and humility winning this election.”
In the Czech Republic, the President serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and also appoints judges, ministers and the Governor of the country’s Central Bank.
Pavel’s campaign slogan is “Order and Stability”.former the general told reporters In casting his own vote, he wanted to be the country’s “president with dignity.”
Pavel, who has never held political office, is an outspoken supporter of Ukraine’s ongoing struggle against Russian occupation, and his victory was seen as a sign of the country’s continued tilt towards the West and the European Union.
Babis, a 68-year-old billionaire media mogul who has campaigned as a populist, faces Pavel in a bitter leadership contest. Misinformation and Death Threats.
Earlier this week, Pavel was forced to dispute his own death after he was the target of a fake email campaign and his website was hacked, while anonymous death threats forced Babis to abruptly stop all campaigning over concerns for his personal safety.
Babis served as prime minister from 2017 until he was elected to step down in 2021.