Babis, Pavel head to 2nd round in Czech presidential race-Xinhua

Babis, Pavel head to 2nd round in Czech presidential race

Source: Xinhua| 2023-01-14 23:40:15|Editor: huaxia

PRAGUE, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Czech presidential election will progress to a second-round vote in a fortnight's time as former Prime Minister Andrej Babis and retired general Petr Pavel were leading in the first round.

Both Babis and Pavel were predicted to win considerable votes in relevant polls. They were almost neck-and-neck with 35.47 percent and 34.9 percent of the vote respectively, according to official results when ballots from over 95 percent of precincts were counted.

Voter turnout was over 68 percent in the first round held from Friday to Saturday, which was about six percentage points higher than in the first round of the 2018 election.

Babis, the head of the Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO) party, is a Slovak-born businessman and one of the wealthiest Czechs. He served as prime minister from 2017 to 2021.

Pavel is a retired army general and has served as former head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee. He is one of three candidates endorsed by the ruling coalition government.

The second round is scheduled for Jan. 27-28.