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Who is the former army chief in the presidential elections in the Czech Republic? |

PRAGUE, 24 january (Reuters) – Petr Pavel displayed the calm and cool nature that would later endear him to voters in his Czech presidential campaign as mortar fire erupted around him during a peacekeeping mission in the Balkans in the 1990s.

Polls 61-year-old bearded retired general on Friday and Saturday billionaire ex Prime Minister 68-year-old Andrej Babis is the favorite to win the second round of voting.

Czech presidents daily execution they do not have power, but they have a say in foreign policy, their prime ministers and central bank they appoint their leaders and are strong opinion makers.

Pavel, a peace mission in Croatia, from joining the army of the Warsaw Pact NATOwas the initial indicator of the determination leading to a high position in .

In January 1993, his unit evacuated a group of French soldiers trapped in the fighting, a mission that earned him the French Military He earned the cross.

Ales Opata, a retired Czech general who served with Pavel in Croatia and afterwards, told Reuters: “We got into a few tense situations and he always handled them thoughtfully and calmly.”

“Once Pyotr got off our carrier and was talking to local residents… It’s never good to have mortar shells falling around you. He finished his work with a calm head and returned.”

Opata said he has used his negotiation skills and ability to attract people throughout his career.

From 2012, he headed the headquarters of the Czech Republic during its participation in operations in Afghanistan, and in 2015 NATOof military He was the chairman of the committee, the adviser to the general secretary of the alliance. 2018He retired in

Pavel is running as an independent candidate and has the support of the center-right cabinet.

His message is unequivocal – long time China and also Russia the current one who strives for closer relations with the president Unlike Milos Zeman, according to the country’s government policy NATO and Europe Anchoring in the union. He to Ukraine military supports aid.

“The main issue is whether chaos and populism will continue to be curbed or we will return to following the rules … and we will be a reliable country for our allies,” Pavel said after narrowly winning the first round of elections.

While campaigning under the slogan “Let’s restore order and calm in the Czech Republic”, he also supports progressive policies such as gay marriage and the adoption of the euro currency.

He criticized Babish’s warm relations with Hungarian leader Viktor Orban, who clashed with EU partners, and said that Babish will lead the country in the same direction.


Often dressed in sweatpants and a leather jacket, he the president preparing for his elections, he traveled around the country for debates and sometimes collected nomination signatures on his BMW GS motorcycle.

Partner on these trips was Harley Davidson salesman Pavel Kubicek, who said Pavel had a sense of service rather than a hunger for power.

“He’s not doing it to be in the history books, he’s already there,” Kubicek told Reuters. “He has many achievements and the president whether or not is not a big deal for him.

Europe Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Agency and former NATO member of the Czech Republic ambassador Jiri Sedivy said that Pavel is a decision-maker who can take responsibility.

“He is very unflappable and tough,” Sedivy told Reuters. “He knew how to say no to ministers and even the (NATO) secretary general when he had a different opinion.”

Pavel in 2017 after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 Russia Headquarters chief He represented NATO in the meeting with Valery Gerasimov.

“After Crimea Russia was looking for a way not to lose the connection between NATO and It was controversial, he was clearly in favor of it, and he said, “We need to talk, soldiers, we need to cool down emotions,” Sedivy said.

Pavel joined the army in the footsteps of his father during the communist regime and began a course in military intelligence in 1988 and completed the course in 1989 after the transition to democracy.

That start and membership in the Communist Party – where Babis is included – is hard to swallow for some Czechs hoping for a candidate unencumbered by the past.

Petr Blazek, a historian at The Twentieth Century Memorial Museum, said it was difficult to fully reveal the details of Pavel’s early career.

“He was getting ready to be sent overseas… he learned French, that’s why in France was expected to be deployed,” said Blazek.

Blazek said he would still vote for Pavel because of his subsequent achievements and Babis’ support from extremist forces, including the Communist Party.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka, additions by Robert Muller and Jiri Skacel reportedited by Angus MacSwan

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

2023-01-24 21:38:29
Source – reuters

Translation“24 HOURS”

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