The BBC reports that
Populist billionaire candidate Andrej Babis and his party have won the Czech Republic's general election. Mr Babis, 63, is the country's second-richest man and campaigned on an anti-establishment and Eurosceptic platform. Results from more than 99.9% of electoral wards gave his centrist movement ANO (Yes [also a Czech acronym for Action of Dissatisfied Citizens] ) almost 30% of the vote - three times its closest rival. The centre-right Civic Democrats and the far-right SPD came second and third with more than 10% each…Mr Babis is now set to become prime minister after coalition negotiations.It was a real downfall for the Social Democrats, currently part of the ruling coalition, who dropped down to sixth place.
Czech election: Billionaire Babis wins by large margin BBC, October 21, 2017
As for the SPD, which got a tenth of the vote,
The BBC's correspondent in Prague, Rob Cameron, said the SPD's strong performance was particularly noteworthy, as the far-right party wants to ban Islam in the Czech Republic.Rob Cameron also reported that “Liberal, pro-European parties were left massively depleted, he said.” Of course, by “pro-European” Cameron means “pro-European Union”.
The SPD doubled its percentage from the previous election to a tenth of the vote. That’s an interesting party with an interesting leader also. According to the New York Times
Among the biggest surprises in the election was the strong showing by Freedom & Direct Democracy [SPD], the extreme right-wing party of Tomio Okamura, of mixed Czech and Japanese descent, who has lived in the Czech Republic since he was 6. Such right-wing parties, which have taken root elsewhere in Eastern Europe, had been largely inconsequential in Czech politics. But now, in a tight race for a distant second with the Civic Democrats, Mr. Okamura will become a larger force…..Mr. Okamura said he opposed the country’s mainstream parties and political establishment because its message is “pro-Brussels, pro-multiculturalism and pro-Islam,” while he sees Brussels as an adversary, Islam as an ideology rather than a religion and multiculturalism as a threat to Czech culture.Now Babis has to form his coalition government. And of course, there is “concern” about his policies.
By Hana de Goeij and Ricky Lyman, New York Times, Oct. 21, 2017
What the ascent of Mr. Babis and Ano — which means “yes” in Czech and is also an acronym for Action of Dissatisfied Citizens — will mean for the Czech Republic’s relations with Brussels and Moscow remains unclear. But there is concern he could join a nationalist bloc with Poland and Hungary and deepen the rift between the European Union and many of its eastern members.Horrors! A nationalist bloc with Poland and Hungary! As opposed to having the European Union tell them how many “refugees” to take in, for example?
[Babis] has promised to protect Czechs from overreach by Brussels, but also to remain an active partner in the European Union. He has stressed that Prague needs to develop closer ties with all potential trading partners, including Russia.Maybe the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the new government in Austria could form a Central European coalition to defend Western Civilization from the European Union and the “refugee” influx.
These Central Europeans could show the Western countries located farther west how our civilization can be defended. That would truly be “Pro-European” and Pro-Western.