Illustrative photo – President-elect Petr Pavel (left) and President Miloš Zeman hold talks on February 13, 2023 at the chateau in Lány in Kladensk.
Prague – Most people in the Czech Republic expect Petr Pavel to be a better president than the current head of state Miloš Zeman. This follows from a February survey by the STEM/MARK agency. A third of the voters of his unsuccessful opponent in the second round of the presidential election, Andrej Babiš (ANO), also evaluate Pavle positively. According to the overwhelming majority of respondents, Pavel meets almost all the prerequisites for the performance of the office of president. People perceive positively, for example, Paul's demeanor, expression and intelligence.
In the second round of the presidential election on January 27 and 28 this year, 58.32 percent of voters voted for Pavel and 41.67 percent for Babiš. The turnout was the highest in direct presidential elections to date, with over 70 percent of voters turning out. Shortly after his election, Pavel became actively involved in political events. In the time before the completion of the STEM/MARK survey, for example, he spoke with Taiwanese President Chai Jing-wen by phone, met with Zeman or visited the Karlovy Vary Region. A total of 63 percent of survey participants expect Pavel to be a good president, and 71 percent of people expect him to be a better head of state than Zeman.
Not only all of his voters expect Pavel to beat the current president, but also 90 to 95 percent of the voters of his opponents from the first round of the election, economist Danuša Nerudová and senator Pavel Fischer. 35 percent of the voters of his opponent from the second round, former prime minister and head of the opposition movement ANO Babiš, have the same expectations from Pavel, who was supported by the government group Spolu (ODS, TOP 09 and KDU-ČSL). Also, 33 percent of the voters of another opposition candidate, SPD deputy Jaroslav Bašta, think that Pavel will be a better president than Zeman. About three quarters of the voters of the other presidential candidates and non-voters have the same opinion.
Survey participants also rated the outgoing president with grades similar to those at school. Miloš Zeman received an average grade of 3.6 from people. According to the agency, Zeman is rated better by, for example, Babiš voters, older people or rural residents. But even from the people who voted for Zeman in the presidential elections in 2013 or 2018, he only got a one or two in a third of the cases. Most of Zeman's voters rate him a three or worse.
Among the people who expect Pavel to be a good president, there are more often people under the age of 30, with a high school diploma or higher education, and residents of larger cities. People over the age of 60 or residents of border regions are more skeptical.
People positively assessed Pavel in most of the prerequisites for the position of head of state. More than four-fifths of the respondents believe that he meets the requirements in terms of representative behavior, expression and intelligence. Approximately 60 to 75 percent of people positively evaluated Pavlo's comprehensibility, respect abroad, diplomacy and moral principles. The overwhelming majority of people think that Pavel also meets the requirements in terms of integrity, social cohesion and a sense of humor. People are on the fence about Pavel's independence and political experience. In these questions, the share of positive evaluations was below 50 percent.
The survey was conducted by the STEM/MARK agency from February 13 to 16. It was attended by 504 people over the age of 18.