Czech election: Babiš remains frontrunner with presidential backing

The Czechs will go to the polls on Friday for the legislative elections against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis and its social and economic …

The Czechs will go to the polls on Friday for the legislative elections against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis and its social and economic consequences.

The elections will also focus on the struggle between the country’s prime minister, billionaire Andrej Babiš, who heads the ANO party, and his opponents.

Immigration and the country’s relations with the EU are two key issues that could weigh in Babiš’s favor, analysts said.

But the election is also a referendum on Babiš, which is opposed by two newly united coalitions, the center-right political alliance SPOLU and the liberal progressive Pirátská Strana (Pirate Party).

Babiš’s ANO party leads the polls with around 27%, but could probably struggle to form a coalition.

But the president, Milos Zeman, has already said he will use his presidential powers to nominate the leader of the party with the most votes as prime minister.

“Babiš has a very strong ally in President Milos Zeman […] and because the main opponents of Babiš are two coalitions that Zeman does not recognize as political subjects, he is going to name Babis again,” said political scientist Jiri Pehe. Euronews.

Meanwhile, the Pirate Party is hoping that its election campaign slogan “Return Home to the Future” will appeal to the younger generation.

“Lying is the crutch of incompetent people. Prime Minister Babiš must lie to others, but for us it is enough to tell the truth about him,” said Pirátská Strana leader Ivan Bartos.

The legislative elections will begin on October 8 and end on October 9.

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