Czech ANO party won general elections with almost 30% of the vote last Saturday which sets the founder of the party Andrej Babiš, the second richest man in Czech Republic, to become next prime minister. His party will have 78 of the 200 MPs in the new lower house assembly.
During his campaign, he was against further European Union integration and adoption of the euro. He was also against accepting refugees. Babiš will definitely need two other coalition partners to form a government and secure a majority in the lower chamber of Parliament.
Conservative party ODS, a potential partner which came second, had already stated that they did not wish any cooperation with ANO. The liberal Pirate party which came third and whose leader is IT specialist Ivan Bartos, will have 22 seats in the Czech Parliament. The party rules out any cooperation with ANO. Centrist Christian Democrats and Centre right parties TOP09 and STAN, have all also said they will not cooperate with ANO.
Elections were also successful for the far-right SPD party, led by Tokyo-born Tomio Okamura. The party won 8 extra seats and will have now 22 seats. The party is known for strong anti-immigration campaign and friendly approach to Russia.
The Communist Party reached a very bad result with just only 8%. These two last parties can be potential partners in the coalition.
Andrej Babiš was born in Bratislava, which is now a capital city of Slovak Republic. His father was a diplomat and member of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Babiš spent a part of his childhood abroad and went to schools in Geneva and Paris.
Later he studied at a gymnasium in Bratislava and then at the University of Economics, following international trade studies.
After his studies, he started working for the communist controlled international trade company Petrimex and became a member of a Communist Party in 1980.He has been accused of being a former agent both for the Czechoslovak secret state security service, StB and the KGB.
While working for Petrimex he suggested forming a subsidiary of this company. When a subsidiary named Agrofert was formed he became a managing director of it in January 1993. He gradually took control over the company. His company concentrated first mainly on agriculture and recently he has acquired a significant number of media companies, including a big publishing house MAFRA. He is a sole owner of the company with a net worth of about $4.04 billion according to Bloomberg.
In 2012 he formed a new party ANO 2011 and has led it since then. His party, as he states, was formed as a movement against established politics. His party is based on the former movement Action of Dissatisfied Citizens ( Czech: Akce nespokojených občanů, ANO) formed in 2011. “Ano” means “yes” in Czech. He has been member of the Chamber of Deputies (MP) since 2013.
From January 2014 to May 2017 he was Finance Minister of the Czech Republic and Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the economy until he was dismissed by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on 24 May 2017 after a month-long coalition crisis. The crisis started with alegations that he did not pay taxes as CEO of Agrofert.
Source: CNN, Wikipedia