Czech General Pavel Announces Presidential Bid – Reports

The Former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, officially announced his intention to run in the Czech presidential elections, scheduled for January 2023, media reported on Tuesday

PRAGUE – The Former Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel, officially announced his intention to run in the Czech presidential elections, scheduled for January 2023, media reported on Tuesday.

General Pavel officially put forward his candidacy for the Czech presidency and presented his election slogan “Let’s return order and peace to the Czech Republic,” with an active foreign policy, developed economy, education, and healthy environment among his priorities, the Czech tv reported.

About 20 people have announced their intention to run in the presidential elections, with General Pavel and former Prime Minister Andrej Babis among the favorites. According to the Median research agency’s August poll results, 25.5% of respondents would have voted for Babis in the first round of elections, and 21% for Pavel. If Babis and Pavel reach the second round of elections, the latter can win with 59.5% of the votes against Babis’ 40.5%, according to the poll.

The candidacy of Pavel is supported by some leaders of the ruling right-liberal coalition. However, support is not unanimous due to Pavel’s previous history as a member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

In turn, billionaire Babis is expected to face a lawsuit in September in connection with alleged fraud when receiving an EU subsidy of $2.

1 million for one of his firms.

All candidates must submit official applications for participation in the elections by November 8, attaching to them the signatures of 50,000 fellow citizens or 20 deputies of the lower house of parliament or 10 members of the Senate. Pavel announced on Tuesday that he had already started the process of collecting 50,000 signatures, according to the report.

Army General Pavel was born in the city of Plana in the south-west of the country in a military family. He graduated from a military gymnasium, and then a military university. Pavel held various posts in the Czechoslovak and then the Czech army, participated in various foreign missions. In 2012-2015, he served as Chief of the General Staff of Czech Armed Forces. From 2015 -2018, he served as a chairman of the NATO Military Committee. Pavel was the first Chairman to come from a country that was formerly part of the Warsaw Pact.

The first round of the Czech presidential election will be held from January 13-14, the second, if necessary, from January 27-28. President Milos Zeman, who has held the highest post for two five-year terms, can no longer stand as a candidate.

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