Most Czechs Expect Pavel to be Better President than Zeman – Poll

The total of 71 percent respondents of the February public opinion poll expect Petr Pavel to be a better head of state than current president Milos Zeman. In photo: Petr Pavel and his wife Eva Pavlova, credit: Jan Kriz.

Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – Most people in the Czech Republic expect president-elect Petr Pavel to be a better president than incumbent head of state Milos Zeman, the February poll conducted by the STEM/MARK agency shows.

Pavel receives a positive evaluation also from one-third of supporters of his unsuccessful rival in the presidential runoff vote Andrej Babis, the senior opposition ANO head and former PM.

More than a half of the respondents said that Pavel met almost all conditions for the post of president. Pavel’s presentation, speech and intelligence is perceived positively among the polled.

Pavel won the presidential election in January. In the second round, to which Pavel advanced along with Babis, held on January 27 and 28, Pavel gained the total of 58.3 percent, while Babis received 41.7 percent. The turnout has so far been the highest out of three direct presidential elections held so far, over 70 percent.

Shortly after his election, Pavel started to actively participate in politics. For instance, he had a phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, met Zeman and he also visited the Karlovy Vary Region, west Bohemia.

The total of 63 percent of the poll respondents expect Pavel to be a good president and 71 percent expect him to be a better head of state than Zeman.

Beside his own voters, also those who supported some of the other candidates in the first round of the election, expect Pavel to surpass the current president, in particular, 90 to 95 percent of voters of economist Danuse Nerudova and senator Pavel Fischer (unaffiliated) believe so.

The same expectation was also expressed by 35 percent of Babis’s supporters and by 33 percent of supporters of Jaroslav Basta, unsuccessful candidate who was nominated to the election by junior opposition Freedom and Democracy (SPD). About three-quarters of people who voted for the other unsuccessful candidates or did not vote at all agree that Pavel will be a better president that the outgoing one.

Before the presidential election, Pavel was supported by the government coalition of Together, comprising of the Civic Democrats (ODS), TOP 09, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), and of Mayors and Independents (STAN) and Pirates.

The poll participants also evaluated Zeman with marks as used at school with 1 being the best grade and 5 the worst. Zeman’s average mark was 3.6, receiving a better evaluation from the voters of Babis, elderly people and people from villages. Only one-third of people who voted for him in the 2013 or 2018 presidential election evaluated him by 1 or 2. Most of his voters gave him a 3 or a lower mark.

People who expect Pavel to be a good president are mostly those under 30, secondary-school and university graduates and people living in bigger towns. People over 60 and those living in the border regions are more sceptical towards him.

People evaluated Pavel positively in most of the conditions for the post of head of state. Over four-fifths of the respondents are of the view that he meets the conditions regarding his presentation, speech and intelligence. Some 60 to 75 percent also evaluated Pavel’s comprehensibility, diplomacy and moral values as positive as well as the fact that he is respected abroad. More than a half of people think that Pavel is also eligible with respect to his clean criminal record, uniting the public and his sense of humour.

People are hesitant about Pavel’s independence and political experience, as in this respect, he received positive evaluation from less than 50 percent.

The poll was conducted by the STEM/MARK agency between February 13 and 16 on the sample of 504 people over 18.


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