The Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, lost the elections for the renewal of the House. The almost definitive results, with over 99.9% of the sections scrutinized, give the center-right alliance Together with 27.78%, followed by Ano, Babis’s party, at 27.14%. The partial data had given the populist billionaire in the lead for a good part of Saturday afternoon but, as the counting continued, the data of the big cities overturned the situation with the victory of the pro-pro-European center-right.
Czech Republic: Babis admits defeat, ‘now negotiations’
The Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, admitted defeat in the legislative elections, which saw Ano (‘Si’), his party, at 27.13%, surpassed by the center-right coalition Spolu (‘Together’) at the 27.78%. Only two other formations have exceeded the threshold of 5%: the alliance between the Pirate Party and some centrist formations (15.6%) and the Eurosceptic right of the SPD (9.56%). Both the Socialists and the Communists remain outside, taking just over 3% and find themselves out of Parliament for the first time since the end of the Second World War. Babis said he was “surprised” by the result but tried to see the glass half full, stressing that the polls released before the elections assigned Ano an even lower percentage, equal to 22%.
However, the populist billionaire does not seem to give up the prospect of a new mandate, which President Milos Zeman has already announced he will be given, and has opened negotiations with Spolu for the formation of a new executive, explains the Czech press. “Five parties took sides against us and their only program was to remove Babis”, said the prime minister, “I will turn to the Spolu coalition and negotiate with them”. However, Spolu has already made it known that he does not intend to govern with Babis and tonight has initiated contacts with the Pirate Party and its allies of the Party of Mayors, together with whom there would be the numbers for a comfortable majority. It is not known when Babis will be received by Zeman, his close ally. The Czech president is seriously ill and no longer appears in public. The meeting was supposed to take place on Sunday but, Babis explained, it will not take place before Wednesday. The outgoing premier refused to answer a reporter who asked him if he would run for president if Zeman dies.