Former prime minister Andrej Babis took the lead in the first round of the Czech presidential election on Saturday ahead of a retired general who served in a high NATO post, partial results showed, APA reports citing Reuters.
The post does not carry executive authority but has significant powers in appointing prime ministers, central bank chiefs and nominating judges for the constitutional court. Presidents also have a limited say in foreign affairs and are chief army commanders.
Results from 48.4% of the voting districts showed Babis would win 38.2%, ahead of retired general Petr Pavel with 32.4%.
However, a prediction of full results by STEM and STEM/MARK agencies for CNN Prima NEWS television put Babis at 35.2%, just a whisker ahead of Pavel at 34.6%, taking into account larger urban districts yet to be counted.
A result under 50% for the first finisher means the two top candidates would face each other in a run-off in two weeks.