Pavel was most popular in the Liberec Region. Photo credit: Petr Pavel via Twitter.

Prague, Jan 20 (CTK) – Czech presidential candidate and former senior army and NATO official Petr Pavel won a mock student election by a crushing margin, winning 86% of the vote, the election organisers told CTK yesterday.

Pavel’s opponent, former PM Andrej Babis (ANO), saw his highest vote in the regions of Zlin (21.5%) and Usti (20.9%).

The student elections are organised by the People in Need organisation through its One World At Schools (JSNS) program.

Pavel was most popular in the Liberec Region, where he was elected by 92% of secondary school students.

“The voting of students showed again that Andrej Babis is not popular among the younger generation,” JSNS head Karel Strachota said.

Pavel’s worst results were at vocational schools, but even here he won 66.7%. At grammar schools, Pavel won 89.7%.

A total of 52,930 children over 15 voted in the second round in more than 530 participating schools, the most schools ever to participate in the mock election. In the first round, 76,136 children voted in 504 schools.

The minimum age to vote in the Czech Republic is 18.

In the first round, economist Danuse Nerudova came first with 54.1% of votes, which means she would have won in the first round without the need for a second round. Pavel was second with 25.7% and Babis third with 9.9%.

Students also participated in the mock election in 2017, when they voted for President Milos Zeman’s opponent Jiri Drahos won with 33.59%, with Zeman second on 19.95%.

With the student election, People in Need wanted to outline the principles of democracy to young people and familiarise them with the election system of the Czech Republic, and with the individual candidates and their programs. They aim to contribute to the active and responsible citizenship of future voters.

In the first round of the presidential election, held on 13-14 January, Pavel won with 35.4%, just ahead of Babis on 35%. The second round will take place on 27-28 January.

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