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President Petr Pavel's first 100 days in office have lived up to expectations, it may look boring, but after the experience with his predecessor, Milos Zeman, it is a very positive thing that he is not playing power games, political analyst Lubomir Kopecek has told. Pavel is behaving as he promised in the campaign, said Kopecek, who works at Masaryk University and at the National Institute SYRI.

According to Kopecek, Pavel is meeting public demand by traveling extensively to the regions while increasing his popularity. Activities that break from the conventional perception of a head of state, such as the motorcycle trip to Bavaria, are of a different type than those undertaken by his predecessor. "They can be read as a well-thought-out PR event that promotes the president's image. In this context, the criticism of former President Vaclav Klaus, who labelled the motorbike trip as a farce, is slightly curious," Kopecek said.

In the first years of his presidency, expresident Klaus drove a combine harvester during harvest festivals, which made sense in the context of building the image of a conservative president. In the campaign, Pavel promised moderation in domestic politics. Although he has kept his distance from the government, Kopecek said, he could not be expected to follow in Zeman's footsteps and behave like an opposition president who enjoys the possibilities of his office "with a tsarist appetite."

"As expected, he appointed a new environment minister, Petr Hladik, immediately after his inauguration. Then, a little later, he did not complicate other governmental changes at the head of the ministries of education and European affairs. This contrasts with the behaviour of his predecessor at Prague Castle, who often prolonged government changes in the past, often checking ministerial candidates at his whim, and even sometimes blocked their appointments in constitutionally very controversial ways," Kopecek said.

Pavel has also not vetoed any law so far, not even a change in the indexation of pensions. Although the head of state has said it would be good to have the Constitutional Court review the law, he has not used his veto.

Kopecek said Pavel's foreign policy, which is dominated by the war in Ukraine, was also expected. There is no visible inconsistency between the president's actions and the government's line, which used to be a frequent problem in Czech foreign policy.

According to Kopecek, the appointment of constitutional judges can also be placed in the category of fulfilled expectations. The debate on the first three nominees was intense, but in the end the Senate approved them quite unequivocally.

PHOTO:, Tomáš Fongus


Prof. Lubomír Kopeček Ph.D.

Position: Senior researcher
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