Retired general Petr Pavel won the presidential election in the Czech Republic

Petr Pavel/ Photo: ANNA BOHÁČOVÁ / MFDNES + LN / Profimedia

The Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala today he congratulated the Czechs for electing the retired general, former Chief of General Staff, and later NATO's second in command, Peter Pavel (61), for the new president of the country.

"The civil candidate and the values ​​he represents won, and that is very important news in these internationally and economically difficult times. The most disgusting election campaign in recent history is behind us. The society comes out of it divided. It is good that in the presidential palace Hradcani will be a president who wants to unite", said Prime Minister Fiala.

The Czech Prime Minister assessed that today's defeat in the elections for the President of the Czech Republic together with the defeat in the parliamentary elections for the former populist Prime Minister, the fifth richest tycoon in the Czech Republic, Andrei Babish, could mean the end of his populist era.

"In the campaign before the presidential elections, populism was directly linked to extremism, and that is very dangerous. We have witnessed fear-mongering, questioning of our international obligations. We have witnessed efforts to inflame passions, exploit people's fears. Populism is dangerous because it knows no borders", said Prime Minister Fiala.

Petr Pavel is getting a strong mandate from Czech voters, as he is projected to win more votes than his predecessor, outgoing president Milos Zeman.

"I think there are no winners and losers here." We are all citizens of the Czech Republic. And the voters of Andrej Babis want the state to function and help them", said General Pavel in his first reactions to the victory.

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