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Petr Pavel to become next Czech president – POLITICO

Petr Pavel, a former NATO general, will become the next president of the Czech Republic after a resounding victory over his opponent, billionaire and former prime minister Andrej Babiš, in elections that ended on Saturday.

Pavel received 58 percent of the vote, compared with 42 percent for Babiš, according to official tally.

The current Czech prime minister, Petr Fiala, has congratulated the former general and staunch ally of Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia, calling Pavel a “civilian candidate.”

“The values ​​he represented won out – and this is a very important signal in these internally and economically difficult times,” Fiala said at a press conference in Prague, according to local media reports.

The 61-year-old would-be president ran as a political independent and promised to reduce polarization in the eastern European country, which is divided over cultural and political divisions.

“Values ​​such as truth, dignity, respect and humility won,” Pavel told supporters and the media in Prague. “I am convinced that these values ​​are shared by the vast majority of us; it is worth trying to make them a part of our lives, as well as to bring them back to Prague Castle and our politics.”

Although the Czech prime minister holds most of the political power, Pavel actively maintains closer ties with the European Union, including the adoption of the euro.

Before moving into domestic politics, he was Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army from 2012 to 2015 and then served as Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 2015 to 2018.

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