The Czech Republic will conclude the second round of its presidential elections today. While the Czechian presidency is mostly symbolic
The Czech Republic will conclude the second round of its presidential elections today.
While the Czechian presidency is mostly symbolic role, it is still significant as it has the official responsibility of appointing ministers and other key institutional figures. In the first round, pro-NATO candidate Petr Pavel finished ahead of the more pro-Russia former Prime Minister Andrej Babis; both advanced to today’s second round.
The election is largely a test of support for Ukraine and a referendum on the Czech government elected in 2021. Current opinion polls suggest Pavel is favored to win having won the support of most unsuccessful candidates who oppose Babis.
Should Pavel be successful, Czechia is likely to continue its current pro-NATO and pro-Ukrainian stance. It is highly likely there will be an intensification of its current assistance to Ukraine since the incumbent President Milos Zeman is critical of such support. Additionally, a Pavel presidency would mean greater cooperation through the EU, moving closer to defining the nation within the EU and NATO’s influence. A Babis presidency is unlikely to directly affect Czechia’s support for Ukraine but might encourage the Czech government to draw down its support if it is seen to be unpopular.