[QODLink]
Europe

No party wins majority in Czech election

Bohuslav Sobotka's Social Democrats have won a slim victory but face a tough task forming a government.

Last Modified: 26 Oct 2013 20:16
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Supporter of Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) sits on a bench in Brno [Reuters]

Czech Social Democrats have won a slim victory in a parliamentary election but face tough task forming a government after anger over sleaze and budget cuts propelled new protest parties into parliament.

With all the votes counted on Saturday by the Czech Statistics Office, the left-wing Social Democratic Party (CSSD) won 20.45 percent, or 50 seats, in the 200-seat lower house of Parliament.

The party's ally, the Communists, finished third, receiving 14.91 percent of the vote, or 33 seats.

In an outcome echoing the success of anti-establishment parties elsewhere in Europe such as Beppe Grillo's 5-Star movement in Italy, the big winner was an anti-graft movement ANO (Yes) led by Slovak-born billionaire businessman Andrej Babis.

ANO, launched just two years ago and languishing in opinion polls until late in the election campaign, took second place with 18.65 percent, or 47 seats.

The election result leaves the central European country of 10.5 million people facing the prospect of protracted political haggling and of another weak and unstable government just as the Czech economy emerges from a lengthy recession.

It also dashes Sobotka's hopes of forming a minority government with the parliamentary support of the Communists because the two parties cannot muster a majority.

"If the lower house of parliament is fragmented, we will face tough negotiations on forming government," said Sobotka.

"The Social Democrats are prepared to take on this tough negotiation and we will try to form a reasonable, stable cabinet," he said, adding he was ready to talk to all parties except the centre-right parties who led the last government.

The new populist Dawn of Direct Democracy movement got 6.88 percent, while Christian Democrats returned to Parliament after a three-year absence with 6.78 percent. Both those parties now have 14 seats.

The Social Democrats said they are ready to open negotiations about forming a new government with any party except the Civic Democrats and the TOP 09 party.

"Our goal is to create a stable government," Sobotka said.

329

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list