The Czech opposition won a majority of seats in Saturday’s parliamentary elections, giving them the opportunity to oust billionaire Prime Minister Andrzej Babis.
.9..9 per cent of the votes have been counted, with the right-wing coalition and the Pirate Party’s central Peeristan coalition and mayors and independents set to win 108 of the 200 seats in parliament. Babis’ Ano was for 72 seats, and the far right SPD was for 20.
“It was a close election, but it was a huge victory for the opposition and especially together,” said Milan Nick, a senior fellow at the German Council for Foreign Relations. “Tonight they got more votes than they expected even a few days ago.”
Peter Fayla, the leader together, and Ivan Bertos, the leader of the pirates, both said Saturday that they had a chance to form a group government. But how quickly they can do that depends on President Milos Zeman.
Zebman, a close ally of the Babis, said before the election that he would give the first chance to form a government even if a coalition won more votes.
If Zeman sticks to this approach, Babis’s Ano will have a chance to try to stay in power, although together the coalition unexpectedly got the most votes, with 27.8 percent of the vote, slightly ahead of Ano at 27.1 percent. But since both Together and Pirstan have refused to work with Babis, his chances of success are slim.
“There is a clear majority here who want to rule together,” said Vladimira Dvorakova, a political scientist at the University of Economics in Prague. But the process of forming a government “could be prolonged.”
Babis, a combustible billionaire who built an empire from food to fertilizer before founding Ano in 2011, came into politics with his experience running a business and promising to fight corruption. In office, he has reduced income taxes and increased state pensions, which has earned him the support of many older voters.
“My grandparents were in a really bad financial situation and now they’re fine, so I can really see a difference,” said David from Prague, who voted for Ano. “So I’m really happy with what Babis did. Other political parties have done nothing in 25 years. ”
However, for most of his time in power, Babis has been the victim of separate allegations of fraud and conflict of interest. He was further shocked this week, when Pandora Papers leaked that he used offshore companies to buy property in France before coming into politics.
Babis has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and dismissed claims as an attempt by his political opponents to harm him.
Babies is on fire to allow the state’s debt to grow rapidly, albeit at a lower level, and to deal with the epidemic. More than, 000,000 Czechs died and earlier this year, the country had the highest number of deaths per capita in the world.
I am outraged at the way Babis has run the country. . . I believe this is probably the last chance to get rid of him, ”said Martina, an IT worker at Usti Nad Labem, who voted together.
“[The handling of the pandemic] There was a tragedy from all sides. Babis had four health ministers. Communication was bad. And now the vaccination campaign – it’s a tragedy. ”
Another reason to count against Babis is the failure of the two parties that have supported his government for the past four years, the Social Democrats and the Communists, to turn it into parliament.
“There are a lot of votes that ended just below the threshold,” Nick said. “This is one of the choices that was decided on the margin.”