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Petr Pavel will become the next Czech president – ​​POLITICO

Petr Pavel, a former NATO general, will become the Czech Republic’s next president after resoundingly beating his opponent, billionaire and former prime minister Andrej Babiš, in elections that culminated on Saturday.

Pavel obtained 58% of the votes cast, against 42% for Babiš, according to the official count.

Current Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has praised the former general and Ukraine’s staunch ally in its ongoing war against Russia, calling Pavel a “civic candidate”.

“The values ​​he stood for won – and that’s a very important message in these complicated times internally and economically,” Fiala told a news conference in Prague, according to local media.

The 61-year-old new president has run as a political independent and promised to reduce polarization in an eastern European country that has been divided along increasingly cultural and political lines.

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

While most political power rests with the Czech prime minister, Pavel has been a strong supporter of closer ties with the European Union, including the adoption of the euro.

Before entering domestic politics, he was chief of staff of the Czech army between 2012 and 2015, then chairman of the NATO military committee from 2015 to 2018.

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