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Czech election: Billionaire Babis wins by large margin

Sunday 22/October/2017 - 12:05 PM
Sada El Balad
Populist billionaire candidate Andrej Babis and his party have won the Czech Republic's general election، according to "BBC".
Mr Babis، 63، is the country's second-richest man and campaigned on an anti-establishment and Eurosceptic platform.
With all votes counted، his centrist movement ANO (Yes) collected a share of almost 30% - nearly three times that of its closest rival.
The centre-right Civic Democrats and the Pirates Party came second and third with more than 10% each.
The Pirates will make their debut in parliament with 22 seats، the news agency AFP reported.
Turnout was almost 61%.
Mr Babis is now set to become prime minister after coalition negotiations. However، he told news agency Reuters that while he had "invited everyone for talks"، he was not prepared to "cooperate" with either the far-right، anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy party or the Communist Party.
The 63-year-old made his estimated $4bn (£3bn) fortune in chemicals، food and media - but he has also faced numerous scandals including a fraud indictment and accusations he was a communist-era police agent.
He says he would not bring the Czech Republic in to the eurozone but he wants the country to stay in the EU، telling Reuters he would propose changes to the European Council on issues like food quality and a "solution to migration".The ANO's current coalition partner، the ruling centre-left Social Democrats (CSSD)، saw its share of the vote tumble to become the sixth-largest party، and has talked down the possibility of another coalition.
The Civic Democrats have also ruled themselves out of governing alongside Mr Babis.
Far-right and far-left groups made gains in the election. The largest parties now include:
ANO (Yes): 29.6%
Civic Democratic Party: 11.3%
The Czech Pirate Party: 10.8%
Freedom and Free Democracy party (SPD): 10.6%
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM): 7.8%
Social Democrats (CSSD): 7.3%The country's outgoing leader، Social Democrat Bohuslav Sobotka، headed a coalition formed with Mr Babis's party after a 2013 snap election.
But in May، Mr Sobotka submitted his government's resignation because of a disagreement with Mr Babis، who was serving as finance minister at the time.
He was unhappy about alleged unexplained business dealings involving Mr Babis.
On seeing the rise of the SPD Mr Sobotka was shocked، saying; "How is it possible that in the Czech Republic، in a situation when the country is doing very well، when we are a stable، safe country، we have achieved many things in the social sphere in the past four years، people are increasingly in favour of extreme views?"
The Social Democrats' tally of 7.3% was their worst result since the Czech Republic split from Slovakia in 1993.After the vote، Mr Babis thanked his voters and said he had not expected the result after "lies" in a "massive، massive disinformation campaign against us".
"I`m glad you did not believe that، that you gave us the confidence to get a chance to form a government،" he said.

Edited by Rasha Mohamed

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