A former army chief and high-ranking NATO official Petr Pavel The Czech Republic’s presidential election on Saturday with a pledge to keep the country firmly anchored in the West and bridge society’s political differences.

PavelRetired at 61, general Running for office, I won 58.3% vote All voting districts reported final results. This defeats billionaire ex-premier Andrej Babis who was a powerful but polarizing force. Czech politics for a decade.

PavelA social liberal, who campaigned independently and won the support of the center right government, conveyed unity to his supporters and journalists when he addressed them at the Prague concert venue. Results showed that he had won.

“Values such as truth, dignity, respect and humility won,” He stated.

“I am convinced that these values are shared by the vast majority of us, it is worth us trying to make them part of our lives and also return them to the Prague Castle and our politics.”

Pavel has also fully backed continued support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion.

Czech While they do not perform many daily duties, presidents have the power to choose prime ministers, central bank head, or foreign policy heads. They can also influence government policies and make powerful opinions.

Pavel Milos Zeman will step down in March and be replaced by Babis, who was divisive during his past two terms.

Zeman had advocated for close ties between Beijing and Moscow, until Russia invaded Ukraine. Pavel’s election will mark a sharp shift.

Participation in the Runoff vote This record-breaking 70.2% was reached on Saturday.

While the final result will not be made official until Tuesday’s publication in a legal magazine, the results of Saturday’s poll were already known.

Babis (68), a businessman and combative leader of the largest opposition party in parliament had been attacked Pavel as the government’s candidate. He vowed to make the government more helpful to those who are struggling to pay rising prices to win votes.

Babis, Prime Minister Petr Fiala congratulated Pavel On his win. Slovakia’s liberal President Zuzana Caputova appeared at Pavel’s headquarters to congratulate him, a demonstration of their close political positions.

Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian President, is congratulated Pavel On Twitter, he expressed his gratitude for the election and asked for close collaboration.

Pavel has backed keeping the central European country of 10.5 million firmly in the European Union and NATO military alliance, and supports the government’s continued aid to Ukraine.

He is in favor of the adoption of the euro, which successive governments have put off, and he supports the same-sex marriage as well as other progressive policies.

A career soldier, Pavel He joined the army during communist times and was awarded a French Military Cross for Valor in Peacekeeping in Former Yugoslavia. Later, he rose to the top of the ranks. Czech general staff and become chairman of NATO’s military committee for three years before retiring in 2018.

“I voted for Mr. Pavel because he is a decent and reasonable man and I think that the young generation has a future with him,” Abdulai Diop (66) after voting in Prague, Saturday.

Babis was a campaigner on the fear of war in Ukraine, and tried to offer peace brokering while suggesting PavelA former soldier could be able to drag the Czechs into an ongoing war. Pavel rejected.