Former senior representative of the Czech army and NATO, Petr Pavel, officially confirmed his candidacy for president of the republic on Tuesday and presented his election slogan “Let’s return order and peace to the Czech Republic”. He wants to be a president who moderates passions. He identified an active foreign policy, an innovative economy with higher added value, independent energy, education and a healthy environment as priorities. Pavel, who is among the favorites in the elections, said this at the start of his election campaign in Prague on Tuesday.
In the coming months, Pavel wants to start touring the Czech Republic, collecting voters’ signatures and asking them for campaign contributions. On Wednesday, the campaign will continue in the Ústí Region, and it plans to cover all regions by the end of autumn. He wants to run as an independent, so he needs to get at least 50,000 signatures. In a press release, he stated that he has collected roughly half. So far, he has received about 10.5 million crowns from supporters and sponsors on a transparent account.
In the campaign, he plans to rely on his experience in foreign diplomacy and in leading the army. According to him, difficult times call for a leader who listens to different opinions and leads people to a compromise. In his speech on Tuesday, 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.
According to public opinion polls and bookmakers, together with the chairman of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, Pavel is 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. Other confirmed participants in the elections include, among others, the chairman of trade unions Josef Středula, former rector Danuše Nerudová, senator Marek Hilšer and businessman Karel Janeček.