Wednesday 12 December 2018

Billionaire Andrej Babis to become PM as populist wave reaches Czech Republic

Czech billionaire and leader of ANO 2011 political movement Andrej Babis (AP)
Czech billionaire and leader of ANO 2011 political movement Andrej Babis (AP)

Billionaire businessman Andrej Babis is set to become the Czech prime minister after his populist ANO party scored a landslide victory in parliamentary elections.

His triumph indicates that the anti-establishment wave sweeping through western democracies has now crashed on the Czech Republic's shores.

Not only did Mr Babis' party almost double its number of seats, but four of the five top parties are now seen as populist or seeking radical change.

Some call Mr Babis, who is the country's second-richest person, the Czech Berlusconi, - a reference to Italy's former billionaire premier.

Others consider him as a local answer to US president Donald Trump.

But while Czech president Milos Zeman is due to appoint Mr Babis prime minister in coming days, it is thought that he might struggle to form a government.

Press Association

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