Home Foreign Gen. Pavel sworn in as president of Czech Republic

Gen. Pavel sworn in as president of Czech Republic

General Petr Pavel

PRAGUE- The Czech Republic has a new president as the newly elected Petr Pavel was sworn in as head of state on Thursday.

The former NATO general took the oath of office before a joint session of both chambers of parliament in the Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle.

Pavel was chosen as the Czech Republic’s next president in a run-off election at the end of January.

The 61-year-old handily defeated the populist former prime minister Andrej Babiš with 58.3 per cent of the vote.

The political newcomer succeeds Miloš Zeman, 78, who advocated rapprochement with China and Russia and was not able to run again after two five-year terms.

The office of president is largely ceremonial and holds only limited powers in the Czech Republic.

The holder represents the country on formal occasions as its head of state, but can also serve as an influential opinion leader.

The president officially appoints the government and is the supreme commander of the armed forces.

The Czech president also has the power to refer laws back to parliament once.

Pavel was the first general from an eastern member state to chair the NATO military committee from 2015 to 2018.

During the election campaign, he promised to return “peace and order’’ to the Czech Republic.

The Russian war against Ukraine was the dominant topic in his campaign.(dpa/NAN)

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