Former army chief Petr Pavel won the Czech Republic’s presidential election on Saturday after a campaign featuring strong backing for NATO and the European Union and support for aid to Ukraine.
Pavel, a 61-year-old retired general running for office for the first time, was set to win more than 58% of the vote with nearly all voting districts having reported, defeating billionaire ex-premier Andrej Babis, a dominant but polarizing force in Czech politics for a decade.
Pavel, who had campaigned as an independent and gained the backing of the centre-right government, conveyed a message of unity and calm in society when addressing his election headquarters at a Prague concert venue on Saturday as results showed he had won.
“Values such as truth, dignity, respect and humility won,” Pavel told supporters and journalists. “I am convinced that these values are…