Retired army general Petr Pavel has secured a decisive victory over former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in the second round of the Czech presidential elections. Securing 58% of the popular vote, from a turnout of more than 70%, Pavel, whose win is largely seen as a victory over illiberal populism, will now succeed outgoing President Miloš Zeman in March.
In the Czech Republic, the role of the president is largely ceremonial, however the head of state, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, holds the power to appoint the board of the Czech National Bank and the country’s Constitutional Court (with approval from the Senate, the upper house of parliament). Otherwise, most executive power is held by the prime minister, a position currently held by Petr Fiala.
While the Fiala Government has repeatedly clashed with the outgoing President over multiple issues, Pavel’s political proximity to the pro-EU/NATO centre and the Czech centre-right suggests foreseeably improving relations between the president and the government.
Below, Aretera takes a deeper look at the results of the second round of the presidential vote.