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The ruling party lost the Czech vote; PM Babis may be out

By PTI

Prague: Prime Minister Lady Babis’ centrist party lost Saturday in the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election, a surprise development that could mean the end of the populist billionaire’s rule in power.

The two-day election to fill 200 seats in the lower house of the Czech Republic’s parliament came shortly after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists called the Pandora Papers.

Babis, 67, has denied wrongdoing.

With almost all votes counted, the Czech Statistics Office said that together, a liberal-conservative three-party coalition captured 27.8% of the vote, beating Babi’s ANO (Yes) party, which won 27.1%. .

In another blow to populists, another centre-left liberal coalition of the Pirate Party and a group of mayors received 15.6% of the vote for Stan to finish third, the statistics office reported.

??Two democratic alliances have won a majority and they have a chance to form a majority government,?? Said together with the leader and its candidate for prime minister Petr Fiala.

Five opposition parties with policies closer to the EU mainstream than populist Babis put aside their differences in this election to form two coalitions, seeking to oust the Eurosceptic prime minister from power.

The result means ??complete change of politics in the Czech Republic, ?? Analyst Michal Klima told Czech public television.

??It stabilizes the country’s position in the western camp. ??

??It’s a huge loss for (Babis)?? she added.

The major anti-migrant and anti-Muslim force in the Czech Republic, the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party, came fourth with 9.6% of support.

For the first time since the partition of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the country’s traditional parliamentary parties, the Social Democrats and the Communists, both failed to win seats in parliament.

Babis has had a turbulent term characterized by several scandals, but all public polls prior to the vote supported his ANO party to win the election.

??We didn’t expect to lose?? Babis said.

??We accept it. ??

They still declared the election results ??excellent ??.

Before the vote, Babis led the minority coalition government of the ANO and Social Democrats of 10.7 million people in the eastern European country, which is a member of both the European Union and NATO.

They have also ruled with the support of stray communists.

The leader of the strongest party usually gets a chance to form a new government.

President Milos Zeman did not immediately comment, but had previously indicated that he would first appoint the leader of the winning party, not the winning coalition, to try to form a new government, which would be Babis.

The two leaders will meet on Sunday.

??We are the strongest party?? Babis said.

??If the President asks me to form the government, I will open a conversation about it. ??

However, any new government has to win a parliamentary confidence vote to rule, and Babis and his potential partner, the Freedom Party, do not have enough support for this.

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