First round of the presidential elections in the Czech Republic with three favorites among the eight candidates: Former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, a 68-year-old magnate, recently acquitted in a corruption trial, has the support of outgoing President Milos Zeman.
Petr Pavel, a 61-year-old career soldier, is the first according to the polls with 29% of voting intentions. The former general was chief of the Czech Army General Staff and head of the NATO military committee.
They are followed at some distance by the economist Danuse Nerudova, 44, a former university rector, the only woman to run for office.
Polls agree that both Pavel and Nerudova, both supported by the ruling center-right “Spolu” coalition, would win in a runoff against Babis. Although analysts clarify that the magnate’s acquittal in a trial for alleged corruption could boost his candidacy to succeed Milos Zeman, whose second and last five-year term expires in March.
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