Retired army general and former chairman of the NATO Military Committee Petr Pavel was elected the new Czech President. In the run-off election he defeated the former Prime Minister and chairman of the ANO movement party, Andrej Babiš.
Petr Pavel thanked all the voters who came to vote. They showed that they respected democracy. I don't see losers and winners, he said after being elected president.
In the presidential election, Pavel said, values such as truth, dignity and respect won. He wants to convince all citizens to return to them.
The new head of state could be either the former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Petr Pavel, or former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO movement). Pavel won the first round, but only 23,000 votes separated the two candidates in the first round, Czech Public TV reports.
The vote count after the second round is usually very fast. The election is simple, the whole republic is a single constituency and voters choose from only two candidates. But it also depends on turnout and also on how big the difference between the two candidates is. In 2018, when Zeman had won only 51 percent of the vote, it was clear after half past three.
A record 68.24 % of the eight and a quarter million voters participated in the first round of this year's presidential election two weeks ago. The current turnout could be even higher based on the voting trends so far.
This is only the third time in history that all citizens of the Czech Republic over the age of 18 have elected a president. Previously, he was chosen only by the legislators. Both previous elections were won by Miloš Zeman, in 2013 over the then Deputy Prime Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09), and in 2018 over the former President of the Academy of Sciences, Jiří Drahoš.