Babiš and Pavel face off in second debate

The rivals for the Czech presidency, ex-Czech Army chief Petr Pavel and ANO leader Andrej Babiš, faced off on Thursday in the second in a series of debates before a second round runoff at the end of next week. In a discussion hosted by news outlet Blesk the two candidates discussed such issues as the war in Ukraine and campaign assertions.

Mr. Babiš defended billboards in which he seemed to imply Mr. Pavel could lead Czechs into war, while Mr. Pavel responded that the ex-PM should apologise to soldiers over the matter.

The ANO chief denied that he was copying the smear tactics of incumbent Miloš Zeman, who five years ago tried to portray opponent Jiří Drahoš as welcoming refugees.

Mr. Pavel asked how his opponent planned to hold consultations with cabinet members after indiscriminately slamming the government during his campaign.

Author: Ian Willoughby