Billionaire tycoon Andrej Babis was set to become the Czech Republic’s next prime minister after his ANO party won with a significant margin in the country’s general election on Saturday.
His ANO movement received almost 30% of the vote – almost three times more than the conservative party ODS, which came in second.
With 78 seats, Babis will need at least two other coalition partners in order to form a government and secure a majority in the lower chamber of Parliament. The only other possibility is to create a government with ODS, which has already ruled out this scenario.
Babis has been dubbed the “Czech Trump” by some media outlets because of his business empire and populist leanings. In campaigning, he opposed further European Union integration and adoption of the euro, and took a hard line on accepting refugees, according to Reuters.
The far-right SPD party, led by Tokyo-born Tomio Okamura, which ran a virulent anti-immigration campaign, will also have 22 seats – eight more than in the previous election. His party also promised a friendly approach to Russia, a policy shared with the Communist Party, which saw the worst result since the independence of the country with a mere 8%.
For the first time, the Pirate party will be represented in the Czech Parliament with 22 MPs, including the leader of the party, IT specialist Ivan Bartos.
ANO, which has been governing in coalition with the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats, held a double-digit lead going into the vote, Reuters said.