Czech Republic political parties jockey for position as election nears

In what has been a tumultuous year in Czech politics, the country’s political parties are ramping up their campaigns as the Oct. 25-26 elections draw closer.

A surprise so far has been billionaire Andrej Babiš’s Ano political party, which has quickly risen in the polls following heavy expenditures on billboard campaigns and is also benefitting from voter frustration over recent corruption scandals that brought down the government of Prime Minister Petr Nečas in June.

Most of that support is coming at the expense of the conservative parties – Nečas’ Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which lost control of the government, and its coalition partner, the TOP 09 party.

The Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) is still the heavy favorite to win the election, however, and experts are still not sure that Ano can garner the 5 percent it needs to seat members in the Chamber of Deputies despite its strong start.

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(Photo: Campaign workers hand out literature at an event in České Budějovice. (c) Ano)