candidate Babis exploits fear of war
A stone’s throw from the Hradec Kralove congress centre, Bozena (a borrowed first name) is disappointed not to welcome her champion. The populist candidate Andrej Babis had planned to hold in this city of 90,000 inhabitants, a hundred kilometers east of Prague, a campaign rally on Wednesday January 25, before canceling everything. The former prime minister, narrowly defeated in the 2021 legislative elections, says he received a death threat a few hours earlier and wants to protect his “immediate surroundings”blaming a climate of fear and intimidation.
The campaign diary held up by Bozena depicts a smiling Andrej Babis who “fight for the Czech Republic”. From January 15, the day after the first round, which he lost by 0.40% of the vote against his rival, Petr Pavel, a newcomer to politics and a former soldier, Andrej Babis did not hesitate to use the peace argument, in the context of the war in Ukraine. He immediately displayed himself on the signs with these words: “I will not drag the Czech Republic into the war. I am a diplomat, not a soldier. » A direct allusion to his adversary, former chief of staff, accused of “rolling” for the war.
“Yes, we must continue to help Ukraine, but at the same time we must talk about peace. Of a ceasefire (…) Mr. Pavel said that peace is an illusion. But we have had peace in Europe since the Second World War. And now the war is close to us”said the former head of government to the online media Denik N. Andrej Babis has repeatedly announced that he wants to organize a peace conference, highlighting his contacts with French President Emmanuel Macron and with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Military aid provided to Kyiv
In his race for the second round, Andrej Babis kept having the word “peace” in his mouth. Even if it means tripping over the carpet during the presidential debate on Sunday, January 22. Asked whether the Czech Republic would send its troops in the event of an attack from Poland or the Baltic countries, the candidate replied: “ I’m not the commander in chief, and if I was, no, certainly not (…) I think we need to talk about peace. »
Taken up by the presenter who reminded him of the obligation of assistance between NATO members in the event of aggression by one of them, Mr. Babis persisted: “Yes, but I don’t want war. » A few moments later, on Twitter, the person concerned returned to his remarks specifying that he would fulfill this obligation under Article 5 of the Alliance, “there is no debate about it”.
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