Populist Czech election winner may find it hard to rule

Andrej Babis' victory indicates that the anti-establishment wave that's sweeping through Western democracies has now crashed on the Czech Republic's shores.

By: AP | Prague | Published:October 23, 2017 9:31 pm
Andrej Babis , Czech Republic elections, Czech Republic new premier, President Milos Zeman,  Czech Berlusconi, World news, Indian Express News Czech billionaire and leader of ANO 2011 political movement Andrej Babis is sprayed with confetti, after most of the votes were counted in the parliamentary elections in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday. (AP Photo)

Billionaire businessman Andrej Babis was already the second richest person in the Czech Republic. After his populist ANO party scored a landslide victory in a parliamentary election Saturday, he’s set to become the most powerful politician.

His victory indicates that the anti-establishment wave that’s sweeping through Western democracies has now crashed on the Czech Republic’s shores. Not only did Babis’ party almost double its number of seats, but four of the five top parties now are seen as populist or seeking radical change.

Some call Babis the “Czech Berlusconi,” a reference to Italy’s former billionaire premier. Others consider him a local answer to U.S. President Donald Trump.

But while President Milos Zeman is due to appoint him prime minister in coming days, he might struggle to form a government.

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