Czech election latest: Exit polls put Europe’s Donald Trump in lead in nightmare for EU

Saturday, October 21, 2017
By Paul Martin

CZECH citizens have handed power to a eurosceptic billionaire in Central Europe in a huge blow to the European Union.

Sat, Oct 21, 2017

The centrist ANO (YES) movement led by populist billionaire Andrej Babis, dubbed the ‘Donald Trump of Europe,’ was the front-runner heading into the election.

And an exit poll suggests that he has won by a landslide, getting 31.7 percent of the vote.

The runner up (SPD) has gotten 11.62 per cent of the vote so far.

Polls showed that Mr Babis was likely to become the next prime minister despite allegations of fraud linked to EU subsidies.

Mr Babis has been critical of the European Union; he opposes the EU’s quota system on redistributing refugees and setting a date for adopting the euro.

Two days of balloting that started on Friday are being held to fill 200 seats in the Czech Republic’s lower house of Parliament.

Voting will finish on Saturday afternoon and results are expected late in the day.

Eight parties and groupings are in line to win seats.

The Central European country has enjoyed rapid growth, a balanced budget and the lowest unemployment in the European Union, but voters have grown tired of traditional political players, giving rise to Mr Babis and other protest parties.

As many as nine parties had a chance of winning seats in the 200-member lower house, possibly complicating coalition-building for the victor.

ANO has maintained its rhetoric of opposition to the ruling system despite serving in the outgoing government along with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s centre-left Social Democrats and the centrist Christian Democrats.

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