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Czechia: Former PM leads presidential election, partial results show

Former prime minister Andrej Babiš led the first round of the Czech Republic’s presidential election on Saturday with 39.1 percent of the vote ahead of retired general Petr Pavel with 31.4 percent, results from 25.4 percent of voting districts showed.

If no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the two top candidates will head for a run-off vote in two weeks’ time. Saturday’s partial results put economics professor Danuše Nerudová in third place with 13.6 percent, giving her a smaller chance of advancing to the second round.

Others are voting strategically like another Prague resident, Pŕemysl Kubát:
“I voted for Danuše Nerudova, because I would like the second voting round to be without (Andrej) Babiš. So based on pre-election polls, I decided I would vote for the better candidate out of the trio. With some optimism, I hope Pavel and Nerudova could be in the second round.”

There are also voters who look to the stars and horoscopes for guidance, like Renata Heldova, also from Prague: “I voted for Petr Pavel. He’s a cancer (zodiac sign), I trust him, he is authentic, he is direct, he has a dark sense of humour, I think he’s reasonable. And I want change.”

The second election round, if it is necessary, is scheduled for January 27 and 28.

The turnout in the 2018 presidential election was 62 percent.

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