Pro-Western former general Pavel favoured as Czechs elect president

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By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE (Reuters) -Former Czech army chief Petr Pavel, a mainstream pro-Western candidate backing aid for Ukraine, held a commanding poll lead over billionaire ex-premier Andrej Babis as Czechs began voting for a new president on Friday. Voting booths opened at 2 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Friday and close at 2 p.m. on Saturday, with results expected later that day. Pavel, 61, a bearded retired general, is running as an independent and has the support of the Czech Republic’s centre-right cabinet. But he has sought to project himself as a candidate who can bridge political divides. “I see…

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