Star Wars or Chanel: Vote for the best Pavel vs. Babiš meme

Despite a tense month in Czech politics, the absurdity of the Pavel-Babiš presidential race has not gone unnoticed in the social sphere.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 27.01.2023 18:00:00 (updated on 27.01.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czechia’s 2023 presidential campaign has been eventful. With death threats and rumors, physical altercations between supporters, personal insults, and accusations, things often got ugly. Some people, however, have managed to make light of the hostile situation with the help of memes.

Number 4 is alive

Earlier this week, a fake e-mail circulated claiming that presidential candidate Petr Pavel had suddenly died. After quickly dispelling the bizarre rumor, Pavel took to social media to show some of the eventful memes that poked fun at the event.

This poster makes a pun on the sci-fi comedy film “Short Circuit,” depicting Pavel as the protagonist. The caption reads “Number four is alive,” making reference to Pavel’s number on the first-round ballot paper and changing the original digit from “five” to “four.”

No Time to Die

This is another meme that makes fun of the death threat. Taking inspiration from the “No Time To Die” 2021 James Bond movie poster, Pavel’s head is superimposed on that of Bond. 

A stoic Pavel

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Pavel has been dubbed by commentators as appearing “presidential,” with a calm, collected – sometimes stoic – manner. One person took this image to an extreme, creating a collage of Pavel’s seemingly non-emotional traits. Regardless of being “sad,” “surprised,” or “angry,” Pavel’s expression is unchanged.

Andrej...we need to talk

During a presidential debate earlier this week, former Prime Minister Babiš claimed that he would not militarily assist Poland were it invaded by Russia. Sparking condemnation in Poland, a political-satire page shared this funny image showing numerous missed calls – in anger, shock, or panic – from Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to Babiš.

"Well, exactly"

Despite his confident oratory, this Twitter user made fun of a simple phrase that Pavel has a tendency to often repeat – “Well, exactly.”

Flanel or Chanel?

Pavel is a fan of flannel-styled shirts, frequently appearing in public wearing them. There was even a “flannel-shirt run” organized in Czechia due to his penchant for this style. He humorously shared a photo on Twitter advertising the “Flanel” perfume – a pun on the Chanel brand. 

That's not the booth!

This meme makes fun of Babiš, a divisive and controversial figure in Czech politics. His wife, Monika, is pictured throwing a ballot paper into the bin, with Babiš pointing this out to her.

The secret texter

This photo references a fake text message claiming to be from Pavel calling for military mobilization against Ukraine. It jokingly implies that Babiš is the author of the message, as he is pictured asking himself how to spell a certain work. This could also be because Babiš is Slovak, and therefore speaks slightly differently to how the average Czceh does.

The bad guy

Continuing the theme of many social media users being against Babiš and portraying him as “the bad guy,” this user shared a Star Wars-themed meme showing Babiš about to duel with Pavel. Babiš is styled as the evil General Grievous character.

A New Hope?

Pavel also used the Star Wars franchise to create his own meme, entitling the presidential election as “Hrad Wars” (“Castle Wars.”) He also adds a caption saying “A New Hope,” making reference to the fourth episode of the series.

Creative memes have helped add humor to an otherwise tense political (and often societal) environment  – regardless of who emerges victorious this weekend, these will likely continue in the weeks to come.

Which is your favorite meme?

Number 4 is alive 3 %
No Time to Die 6 %
A stoic Pavel 25 %
Andrej...we need to talk 6 %
"Well, exactly" 2 %
Flanel or Chanel? 34 %
That's not the booth! 10 %
The secret texter 1 %
The bad guy 2 %
A New Hope? 11 %
154 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open
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