October 17, 2021

Taylor Daily Press

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Czech PM loses election after Pandora Papers (Brussels)

Czech PM loses election after Pandora Papers (Brussels)

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis did not win his country’s parliamentary elections after all. The billionaire was badly beaten by the opposition. It has lost credibility recently, including Pandora’s Papers.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis did not win parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic after all. This is evident from the almost complete results on Saturday evening.

Earlier, Prime Minister Babis’ populist party looked on its way to a (narrow) victory. But with more than 99.9 percent of the votes counted, the center-right Spolo (“Together”) coalition won 27.7 percent of the vote. Babis’ party received 27.2 percent of the vote.

Czech media initially declared Babis the winner, but analysts say this belated turn is due to the fact that votes in major cities were not counted until the evening.

admit defeat

Spolo could come to power with a center-left bloc with the Pirate Party, because together they would have 109 of the 200 parliament seats, which is good for an absolute majority. Meanwhile, opposition leader Peter Fiala declared victory, and Babis admitted defeat and congratulated the winner.

The 67-year-old prime minister led a minority government with the Social Democrats. The coalition receives support from the Communists, but is now suffering a historic defeat and appears to have disappeared from Parliament for the first time since World War II.

pandora leaves

Babis’ opponents have widely criticized his approach to the coronavirus pandemic. The Czech Republic has recorded more than 30 thousand deaths due to Corona. The successful businessman is also accused of conflict of interest. In August, the European Commission halted subsidies to a company founded by Babis. The prime minister is said to have been active in the company, which he himself denies.

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Recent discoveries of the so-called Pandora Papers on money laundering show that the billionaire owns an offshore investment company that bought two villas in southern France for a value of more than 14 million euros.

The boss is in the hospital

Meanwhile, the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman (77), was hospitalized in the capital, Prague. It happened right after he met Babis. According to the latest reports, he is now in the intensive care unit. The doctors did not say what was wrong with him.

Zeman was released from hospital in September after spending eight days. He has been the head of the Eastern European country since 2013. Prior to that, he was the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic from 1998-2002. According to previous reports, he suffers from diabetes and is forced to sit in a wheelchair due to a neurological disease. According to the Czech constitution, the president must appoint a new prime minister.