Prague – Former senior representative of the Czech army and NATO, Petr Pavel, today officially confirmed his candidacy for the presidency of the republic 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 today.
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. He has collected about half now. So far, he has received about 10.5 million crowns from supporters and sponsors on a transparent account.
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 decided to support me, I wouldn’t 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.
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 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.
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. 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 in my approach. If he runs, he will not be an easy opponent. But if it were easy, I would not enjoy it and I would not even go for it,” said Pavel.
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.
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, diplomat Petr Kolář, surgeon Pavel Pafko and economist David Marek arrived.
election president Pavel