“Czech Donald Trump” Wins Landslide Victory

Populist tycoon Andrej Babis and his Eurosceptic political party have won the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election — by a landslide — making the “politically incorrect” billionaire businessman the main contender to become prime minister after coalition negotiations.

With all of the votes counted, Babis’s anti-establishment party ANO (which stands for “Action of Dissatisfied Citizens” and is also the Czech word for “yes”) won nearly 30% — almost three times its closest rival — in elections held on October 20. The Eurosceptic Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the anti-establishment Czech Pirates Party and the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) came second, third and fourth, with around 11% each.

The Communists came in fifth with 7.8%. The Social Democrats, the center-left establishment party that finished first in the previous election, came in sixth with just 7.2%. The Christian Democrats, the center-right establishment party, won 5.8%, just enough to qualify for seats in parliament. In all, nine parties competed in the election.

  • Clink9

    “Well, it’s a well known fact, Sonny Jim, that there’s a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world, including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually at a secret country mansion in Colorado, known as The Meadows.”

  • BillyHW

    Time to crack open a Pilsner Urquell.

    • Clink9

      I like that stuff, and CZ’s.

      Just not together.

    • Norman_In_New_York

      I don’t know if the Czechs export it, but if you can find Budvar, you will be drinking the original Budweiser, which gave this brew its good name.

      • BillyHW

        I’ve had it! Local beer store carries it here. Urquell is better though.

      • Solo712

        It’s now called “Czechvar”. The brewery lost a lawsuit to Annheiser Busch and can’t use “Budvar” any more.

  • Solo712

    Well, to begin with, Babiš is no Trump, or started to play the “populist fiddle” fairly late – like 2014. Before that he was just another Brussels pony. At any rate, he evidently wants to play both sides (EU and Visegrad group) and sees himself as a mediator. But he is smart (I’d say politically much smarter than Trump) and knows what people want and what he has to do to remain popular as a politician. Also, he does not have anywhere near the ego problem of the Donald. Andrej is happy with being generally low key and presents himself sometimes as “stupid peasant who has made good because is just lucky”. (Don’t believe it; he is cunning like a fox) Also, unlike Trump he has established himself in a government portfolio as a very shrewd minister of finance who has single-handedly rehabilitated the country’s treasury. He did that among others by forcing a very unpopular Electronic Tracking of Sales (EET in Czech) which makes it very hard for any business (especially one) with a cash register to avoid paying taxes. The measure was in the beginning very unpopular (mostly because it was painted falsely by the media) but the positive effect on the finances was so quick and so dramatic that most people were won over. There was still some grumbling from the pub owners and retail stores and some such when I was there in the summer but generally people are happy that the economy is booming and understand (unlike here) that to maintain a booming economy you also need to collect taxes and spread the tax burden fairly. No problems with deficits under Babiš. Of course when it comes to his own taxes then Andrej is the Donald on steroids. His exchange with a journalist inquiring about his revenues brought about a very acidic : “mind your business” and “who is telling what they are making to the passerbys?” The exchange produced a saying Babiš used in the exchange, which is English-Czech “sorry jako” (sth. like “say what ?”) but very original. Overnight, it went viral and everyone is using it. The guy has talent!