PRAGUE (Reuters) – Former Czech army chief Petr Pavel, a strong pro-Western supporter of aid to Ukraine, announced the results of the Czech Republic’s presidential election on Tuesday.
Czech Statistical Office reported that Prime Minister Petr Fiala congratulated Pavel on his victory after receiving 56.9% of the vote in 87.9% of the country’s constituencies, ahead of rival Andrei Babis with 43.1%. bottom.
The full results of the two-day runoff were expected later on Saturday.
The news website www.seznamzpravy.cz predicts that Pavel will defeat former Prime Minister Babis with 57.9% to 58.5% of the vote, while broadcaster CNN Prima News will use agency STEM and STEM/MARK voting models to , predicted that Pavel won more. 58% or more.
Pavel, the first 61-year-old veteran to run for public office, campaigned as an independent and won support from the center-right government that ousted Babis from power in the 2021 parliamentary elections.
The belligerent business mogul, 68, has vowed to urge the government to do more to help voters struggling with rising prices. .
Babis, who has dominated Czech politics for the past decade and is also the leader of the largest opposition party in parliament, called the election a referendum.
Pavel faces a huge chance to maintain his lead in the election, and larger urban precincts are likely to support him reporting.
At his campaign base in Prague, where hundreds of journalists and guests gather to shout “President!”, Pavel’s campaign workers were already popping champagne. I heard
The Czech president does not have much of a daily routine, but he elects the prime minister and central bank governor, has a say in foreign policy, is an influential opinion maker, and can push policies to the government.
Pavel supports keeping the central European nation of 10.5 million firmly in the European Union and NATO military alliances, and supports the government’s continued support for Ukraine since Russia’s aggression last year. increase.
He supports adoption of the euro, a topic that successive governments have put on the back burner, and supports gay marriage and other progressive policies.
A career soldier, Pavel joined the military during the communist era, was awarded the French Cross for bravery during peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and later led the Czech General Staff and served as NATO’s military commissar. I was chairman of the board for three years. He retired in 2018.
“I voted for Mr. Pavel because I think he is a decent and reasonable person and the younger generation has a future with him,” said 60-year-old Abdullah Diop, who voted in Prague on Saturday. said.
Babis attacked Pavel for being a candidate for government.
He campaigned on fears of an escalating war in Ukraine and tried to offer to broker peace talks, suggesting that Pavel, as an ex-soldier, could drag Czechs into the war. However, Pavel rejected the claim.
Babis also had the support of outgoing President Milos Zeman, who promoted closer ties with China during his ten years in office and closer ties with Moscow until Russia invaded Ukraine.
Reporting by Jason Hovet and Jan Lopatka. Additional reporting by Robert Muller and Jiri Skacel.Edited by Hugh Lawson and David Holmes
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