Czech Premier Babis’s Party Leads Early Count After Elections
(Bloomberg) -- Czech billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s party was ahead in the early vote count following parliamentary elections that ended on Saturday.
Babis’s ANO had 31% of votes after 6% of polling districts were counted, data from the Czech Statistics Office showed. The opposition coalition SPOLU, consisting of three center-right parties, had 24%, followed by 13% for the center-left group led by the Pirate Party.
If final results confirm the pattern, President Milos Zeman will give Babis the first shot at forming a new government, although his mainstream rivals have refused to cooperate with him in government.
One of the richest Czechs, with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion, Babis had a strong lead in opinion polls before the ballot despite his government overseeing one of the world’s highest Covid-19 death tolls per capita and a string of legal scandals.
He faces accusations that one of his companies fraudulently tapped European Union funds and revelations from the Pandora Papers that he conducted offshore deals to buy property in France. He rejects all accusations as political attacks fabricated by his rivals.
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