The government coalition Spolu (ODS, KDU-ČSL, TOP 09) is still looking for a common candidate for Hrad, Pavel admitted today that he had discussed with its representatives. “I didn’t ask them for support. If they decide to support me, I will not refuse,” he said. However, he does not want the coalition to possibly name him as their party candidate. “A purely party candidate would have trouble winning,” he explained.
Babiš will not become president, the survey shows. Pavel would beat him in the second round
In the campaign, he plans to rely on his experience in foreign diplomacy and military leadership. According to him, difficult times call for a leader who listens to different opinions and leads people to a compromise. In today’s performance, he criticized the current political culture, which he would like to change. At the Castle, he would also pay attention to moral and ethical aspects. According to him, people have become accustomed to evaluating politicians according to too low a bar. “It cannot be enough for us that someone steals and lies less than others,” he said.
Pavel is according public opinion polls even according to bookmakers, together with the chairman of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, the favorite in the elections. It is not yet certain whether former Prime Minister Babiš will join them. He wants to announce his decision probably at the end of October.
Pavel stated that his campaign will not influence Babiš’s decision in any way. “I have never defined myself as anti-someone, I will not change anything about my approach. If he runs, he will not be an easy opponent. But if it was easy, I wouldn’t enjoy it and I wouldn’t even do it,” said Pavel.
Pavel held a number of command positions in the Czechoslovak and Czech armies, served as Chief of the General Staff for almost three years, and between 2015 and 2018 was the first representative from the Eastern European members of the alliance to chair the NATO Military Committee. But he also faces criticism, especially because of his pre-November engagement in the army of the normalizing Czechoslovakia and his membership in the Communist Party, which he joined as a twenty-four-year-old in 1985.
Petr Pavel: Populism is my biggest opponent
At the end of the 1980s, he began training with military intelligence, which, for example, historian Petr Blažek compares to the Czechoslovak secret police StB, but he has a negative lustration certificate. Pavel rejects criticism. ČTK said today that he joined an intelligence course that trained intelligence officers in all specialties. He noted that all the participants were preparing in the same way, and specialization was supposed to happen later. According to him, only a few of them would thus become “spies”. “So trying to attribute to me that I was training to be a spy is a misrepresentation,” he said. He added that he chose the career of a military diplomat.
Official launch of the campaign
Today’s launch of the campaign at the Písecká Gate in Prague 6 was opened by the musician Anna Julie Slováčková, and then Pavlov’s wife Eva took the microphone. According to her, an opportunity has arisen for the Czechia to be led by a person who can represent it, lead it through a crisis, communicate with people and unite the nation instead of subverting it. She also mentioned the unique opportunity to strengthen the role of the first lady and improve the position of women and the family.
A number of guests seated behind the lectern came to support Pavel. For example, former governor of the Czech National Bank Zdeněk Tůma, actors Petr Čtvrtníček and Daniela Kolářová, director Václav Marhoul, diplomat Petr Kolář, surgeon Pavel Pafko and economist David Marek arrived.
The elections will be held in January, candidates must submit their application no later than the beginning of November. Other confirmed participants in the elections include, among others, the chairman of the trade unions Josef Středulaformer rector Danuše Nerudovásenator Marek Hilšer or businessman Karel Janeček.