The Czech prime minister may be on the way out after his party loses election

9October 2021

The Czech Republic’s Prime Minister and leader of centrist ANO (YES) movement Andrej Babis holds his ballot at a polling station in Lovosice on Friday.

Petr David Josek/AP

Petr David Josek/AP

PRAGUE — Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ centrist party on Saturday narrowly lost the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election, a surprise development that could mean the end of the populist billionaire’s reign in power.

The two-day election to fill 200 seats in the lower house of the Czech Republic’s parliament took place shortly after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reported details of Babis’ overseas financial dealings in a project dubbed the “Pandora Papers.” Babis, 67, has denied wrongdoing.

With the votes from 99.7% of the ballot stations counted, the Czech Statistics Office said Together, a liberal-conservative three-party coalition, captured 27.7% of the vote, beating Babis’ ANO (Yes) party, which won 27.2%.

In another blow to the country’s populists, another center-left liberal coalition of the Pirate Party and STAN, a group of mayors, received 15.5% of the vote to finish third, the statistics office reported.

The two coalitions have enough support together to create a new government.

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