New voice for Czech Republic? Retired general tops ex-PM for presidency.


Petr Pavel, a retired army general, decisively defeated populist billionaire Andrej Babis in a runoff vote Saturday to become the Czech Republic’s new president.

Mr. Pavel will succeed controversy-courting Milos Zeman in the largely ceremonial but prestigious post. His election is expected to cement the country’s Western orientation following Mr. Zeman’s decade in office.

With all the ballots counted by the Czech Statistics Office, Mr. Pavel had 58.3% of the vote compared with 42.7% for Mr. Babis. Turnout was just over 70%, a record high for a presidential vote.

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