I don’t tend to give orders. But the president’s voice has been missing here for a long time, says the candidate for Hrad Pavel

I don’t tend to give orders. But the president’s voice has been missing here for a long time, says the candidate for Hrad Pavel
I don’t tend to give orders. But the president’s voice has been missing here for a long time, says the candidate for Hrad Pavel

Petr Pavel plans to start his presidential campaign on September 6 in Prague, after which he will go around the regions to collect the remaining number of signatures needed to participate in the elections. He still lacks enough of them, self-confidence that he can do it, but he doesn’t lack it.

Although he does not define himself too much against the other opposing candidates, he identified populism as his main opponent. According to him, Andrej Babiš and Tomio Okamura are now personifying this on the Czech political map. His main opponent in the presidential election may be the head of the ANO movement, who wants to announce the decision at the last minute.

What we also ask in the interview:

  • How many citizen signatures does he now have on the petition with his candidacy?
  • What would he do in the first week of his presidency to signal, even symbolically, that there is already a new head of state at the Castle?
  • As president, how would he treat protesting citizens or opposition parties?
  • Whose support in the political spectrum would he accept before the election?
  • Wasn’t he downplaying his pre-November military career too much when he compared himself to a character from a military sitcom?

Mr. Pavel – is this a surprising address to you? You probably hear “Mr. General” more often.

Both. I don’t care at all. I’m still a general, even though I’m retired. Anyone who wants to address me by rank or just by name can.

In the campaign, however, you work purposefully with rank, that’s what your profiles on social networks and websites are called. Why do you still use it?

It’s a brand in a way (brand, editor’s note), by which people know me. Many of them spontaneously call me General because they are used to it, there is nothing wrong with it. I don’t demand it from anyone and we use it more because I’m known that way.

Is it not an obstacle for you to switch to the civilian role of a politician-candidate?

It doesn’t pigeonhole me in a way of thinking. I was a general and will probably remain so for the rest of my life. But that doesn’t mean I think in military terms. Even as Chief of the General Staff I thought much more in political than military terms. And in the position of chairman of the NATO Military Committee, political topics clearly prevailed.

So I don’t mean that because someone calls me a general, I will always have a tendency to command and carry out orders. Not that.

Are you an authoritative team leader?

No. I’ve always been a cooperative boss. It’s because of what I’ve been doing. I started with special forces that have small teams. The members are dependent on each other, they are multifunctional. Everyone must have several expertise to represent each other, decisions are always made collectively. Only then does the commander decide and accept responsibility. But it’s always about cooperation and communication.

What if someone sees it in the way that General Pavel is the person trained to send people into battle from which they may not return? And he’s not sure if that’s a prerequisite for a civilian role in which he’ll try to hold the nation together.

Bonding is also in the army. It’s not just about giving orders. If you give orders that have no head and no heel and with which your subordinates do not identify, it will not work.

My work at NATO was exactly like that. Although I was the highest ranking soldier in the Alliance, I did not command anyone. I didn’t tell 30 states what to do and how to do it. It was about reaching consensus and everyone

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The article is in Czech

Tags: dont tend give orders presidents voice missing long time candidate Hrad Pavel

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