Ruling party narrowly loses Czech vote and PM Babis may be out

Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ centrist party has narrowly lost the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election, a surprise development that could mean the end of the populist billionaire’s reign in power.

he two-day election to fill 200 seats in the lower house of the Czech Republic’s parliament took place shortly after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reported details of Mr Babis’ overseas financial dealings in a project dubbed the Pandora Papers.

Mr Babis, 67, has denied wrongdoing.

With the votes from 99.7% of the ballot stations counted, the Czech Statistics Office said Together, a liberal-conservative three-party coalition, captured 27.7% of the vote, beating Mr Babis’ ANO (Yes) party, which won 27.2%.

In another blow to the country’s populists, another centre-left liberal coalition of the Pirate Party and Stan, a group of mayors, received 15.5% of the vote to finish third, the statistics office reported.

The two coalitions have enough support together to create a new government.

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