President-elect Petr Pavel.
Brno – Former representative of the Czech army and NATO Petr Pavel is the final winner of the presidential election, the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) has already decided on all election complaints. He only corrected partial errors of the election commissions, Pavlo's victory over Andrej Babiš (ANO) is now more pronounced. The difference between the two candidates in the second round increased by 298 votes to a total of 959,403 votes, the court announced in a press release.
Photo gallery: President-elect Petr Pavel
“The mistakes were only minor, unintentional, which is basically excellent news with such an extensive counting of votes by so many people. We have therefore confirmed the election of Petr Pavel as the president of the republic as a legal and legitimate decision of the voters,” said the chairman of the electoral commission Senate Tomáš Langášek.
One of the mistakes was made by the commission in the precinct in Bohnice in Prague, when it switched the votes for Pavel and Babiš. In another complaint, a voter questioned voting in other precincts where he noted an apparent error, typically when the number of envelopes or ballots submitted exceeded the number of envelopes issued. In one precinct in Prague 9, a voter in the first round of the election recorded a significantly lower number of valid votes and expressed the assumption that the commission had forgotten to count one pile with a hundred votes. The Electoral Senate requested documentation from all contested precincts. Where it was possible, he counted the missing votes and corrected the data on the number of envelopes issued and handed in.
The court ordered the Czech Statistical Office and the State Election Commission to properly announce the records with the corrected data again. However, the court rejected proposals to declare the voting invalid in the contested precincts, because such intervention by the electoral court would not be proportionate to the “negligibly low intensity of the detected defect”.
“The consequence of our decision is that in the first round the number of votes for Pavel Fischer increased by two, for Petr Pavel by 100 and for Andrej Babiš and Karel Diviš by one each. The percentage gains of the individual candidates basically did not change even after these corrections,” he said Langášek. In the second round, the difference between Pavlo and Babiš increased by 298 votes. “Even here, the percentage gains of both candidates practically did not change, but the electoral council at least contributed to the accuracy of the election results and corrected errors during the counting of votes,” added Langášek. He appreciated that the commissions admitted the mistakes and did not try to cover up the detected irregularities.
Another voter pointed to the allegedly manipulated software, he was surprised that at the end of the count, the number of votes for both candidates surprisingly decreased and the percentage difference between them also changed. According to statisticians, this happened because the district election commission in Buštěhrad in Kladno found an error and corrected its record of the voting result. Deletion of incorrect data temporarily resulted in a drop in votes and a recalculation of the difference between the two candidates, only after a while was the correct data entered into the system.
Even a man who is serving his sentence in a prison in Pilsen was unsuccessful with his complaint. He claimed that the Prison Service did not allow him to cast his vote in the first round. He also pointed out the possible violation of the voting rights of other convicts. According to the NSS, nothing has come to light that would indicate a systemic deficit in the approach of people serving a sentence to vote in elections and what could also affect the result.
Today the court also rejected the complaint of a voter who pointed to a pre-election special edition of the weekly newspaper Forum. In it, the editors criticized Babiš, for example recalling his allegedly false statements or financial circumstances. According to the court, the candidates had enough time to respond to the printed matter, and it did not open new topics for which the voters were not ready.
NSS received hundreds of complaints after this year's elections, much more than was common in the past. He received about 400 of them within the deadline, and continuously refused or rejected them. They were often form proposals, repeating the same arguments. Hundreds of other initiatives that came before or after the deadline are rejected by the court for being premature or late.