Parliamentary election voting begins in Czech Republic

Czechs begin voting in parliamentary election

Czech billionaire Andrej Babis, chairman of the anti-migrant ANO movement, casts his ballot at a polling station near Prague in an election that could see the "Czech Trump" take power.

Vaclav Vachel, another pensioner, said Babis's anti-corruption drive was "the key thing", seemingly unfazed by a fraud indictment the mogul faces for alleged abuse of European Union subsidies. "They're a disaster, this [European Commission chief Jean-Claude] Juncker especially".

The Czech centre-left Social Democrats are prepared to consider participating in the next cabinet but will not join a government that includes politicians facing criminal charges, the party's acting leader Milan Chovanec said on Saturday.

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.

ANO is united with most other Czech parties in completely rejecting the EU's quota system on redistributing refugees. It also marked the rise of the far-right Freedom and Free Democracy Party, which received 10.6 percent and promises to ban Islam.

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With joblessness at 3.8 percent in September, the Czech economy which is heavily reliant on vehicle exports is slated to grow by 3.6 percent this year.

They're turning inward. The Czech Republic's second-richest man, Andrej Babis, and his party have trounced long-dominant centrist parties in the country's parliamentary elections today.

The eurosceptic right-wing ODS party has clinched third spot with 10.51 percent and the anti-establishment Pirates scored 10.04 percent. Turnout was at 60 percent.

Babis was the front-runner heading into the two-day ballot that began on Friday to fill 200 seats in the Czech Republic's lower house of Parliament.

France's far-right National Front Marine Le Pen sent Okamura a message of support.



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