Voters in the Czech Republic will decide in the run-off election on Friday and Saturday who should become the nation’s next president - retired general Petr Pavel or ex-prime minister Andrej Babis, as incumbent Czech President Milos Zeman, under the constitution, cannot be re-elected after his second five-year term expires on March 8, APA reports citing TASS.
Pavel narrowly defeated Babis, the leader of the Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO), in the first round on January 13-14, scoring 35.4% of the votes. Babis garnered the support of 34.99% of the electorate.
Voting starts at 2 p.m. local time on Friday and ends at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The current presidential polls are the country’s third in its recent history. The Central European republic first held its direct presidential election in 2013, while presidents were previously elected by parliament.
Czech political analysts bet on Pavel, with tens of thousands joining rallies in his support across the country in recent weeks.
A final opinion poll conducted by IPSOS ahead of the presidential run-off on January 20-22 showed that Pavel may gain 58.8% of votes, while Babis can expect the support of 41.2% of voters. Voter turnout is expected to reach 69%.