Andrej Babis, the former prime minister, concedes defeat to Petr Pavel, who received more over 58 percent of the vote.
After defeating business magnate Andrej Babis in a run-off vote on Saturday, former army general Petr Pavel has won the election to lead the Czech Republic.
According to the Czech Statistics Office, Pavel, 61, received more than 58 percent of the vote. Former prime minister Babis, a divisive figure in Czech politics, admitted defeat and congratulated Pavel.
Pavel, a former NATO military committee chairman, will succeed controversial President Milos Zeman.
Pavel remarked after the results revealed he had won, “I would want to congratulate those who voted for me and also those who did not vote for me but came to the polls because they made it apparent they honoured democracy and cared about this country.”
In this election, he continued, “I can see that principles like honesty, integrity, respect, and humility have won.” Pavel has expressed his support for the nation’s decision to offer military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine in the midst of the conflict with Russia.
He considered the future of the Czech Republic as being entwined with participation in the European Union and NATO.
Zeman, who shares Babis’s euroskepticism and propensity for employing rhetorical attacks on immigrants, had backed the 68-year-old Babis.
After his centrist ANO (YES) movement lost the 2021 general election and fell into opposition, it was Babis’ second significant setback in recent years.
Pavel and Babis had to face each other in a second round run-off since none of the eight initial contenders won an absolute majority in the first round of voting two weeks ago.
Death threats have been made against Babis and his family, and the final campaign was marred by disinformation. Pavel was the target of a hoax that claimed he had died.
The presidential campaign, the numerous crises we have experienced and are experiencing, as well as the recent political climate in this country, have all had an adverse effect on our community, according to Pavel.
“This needs to change, and you’ve helped me take the first step in that direction,” I said.
Zeman was the first president to be chosen by the people. March marks the end of his second and last five-year term. Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus were chosen by lawmakers as the previous two presidents.