Petr Pavel wins landslide victory in Czech presidential elections | Czech Republic
Petr Pavel, a retired general and former high-ranking NATO commander, became president of the Czech Republic with a landslide electoral victory over former prime minister Andrej Babiš, which supporters immediately hailed as a victory for liberal democracy over oligarchic populism.
With about 88% of the vote counted, Pavel was ahead by 57% to 42.96%, by almost 700,000 votes across the country, leaving his opponent with an insurmountable deficit.
The result is a personal vindication of the pro-Western Pavel and a humiliating rebuff for Babiš, the billionaire oligarch who waged a relentless scorched-earth campaign that focused on portraying his adversary as a warmonger and himself as a victim of slander and defamation. deadly danger.
The first vote counts immediately drew applause from Pavel’s campaign headquarters in the Karlín district of Prague, as they showed a significant lead that he never lost when new results came out.
Confirming the decisive nature of his victory, Paul triumphantly addressed the jubilant supporters in his campaign headquarters. He was greeted with the chant of “president, president”.
Pavel, a former army chief of staff and NATO deputy commander, will replace Milos Zeman as Czech president in March, who has held office for the past decade and is constitutionally ineligible to run for another term. .
Jiří Pehe, political analyst and director of New York University in Prague, said Pavel’s election represents a huge change in the nature of the Czech leadership.
“It cannot be overestimated because in the last 10 years we have had a president who in many ways has been a disgrace to the Czech Republic,” he said. “He was pro-Russian, sabotaged sanctions against Russians, circumvented the constitution, behaved rudely and offensively.
“Pavel is a different type. He is much more civilized and down to earth. It places a strong emphasis on representation and holds strong pro-Western views. On the international stage, we will see someone in the presidency who represents who Vaclav Havel was and is a departure from the last two presidents.”