The Czech Republic opens a new chapter in its history. On March 8, ex-general Petr Pavel, who led the NATO military committee, will assume the post of president, after his victory in Saturday’s elections.
Pavel obtained almost a million votes more than his rival, the populist magnate and former prime minister Andrej Babis, in a second round of the elections in which participation records were broken, since more than 70% of voters went to the polls .
The biggest difference between the two candidates occurred in Prague, where Pavel won 76% of the vote, compared to 58% nationally.
“I am very proud to be Czech now that Mr. Pavel is going to be President. It is a very special moment for me,” says a man on the streets of Prague.
A young woman thinks that “the best candidate__won. I think Petr Pavel can adequately represent the Czech Republic,” she says.
Babis won mostly in the border districts, especially in the north-west and north-east. He also won by a small margin at Znojmo, near Austria.
“His party won the local elections here earlier, that’s why Babis prevailed here. If we look at the results, we see that he won small towns and villages, and Znojmo is a small town,” says a local resident.
The defeated Andrej Babis maintains a long relationship with the Hungarian Prime Minister, Víktor Orbán, with whom he also has political similarities. Like Orbán last year, during the campaign Andrej Babis accused his opponent of being in favor of the war. But that was not enough to win either. The big question now is whether Babis still has a future in Czech politics.
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