When the votes were finally counted in the early elections in the Czech Republic elections, it was a pyrrhic victory for the Social Democrats (ČSSD), who, after leading heavily in the polls, just barely eked out a win by the smallest of margins.
For a party that was supposed to dominate the election, a tiny two percentage point outcome over the new Ano party of billionaire Andrej Babiš and the inability to get more than 25 percent of the vote was a huge disappointment that will haunt ČSSD as a new government is formed and could spell the end for party leader Bohuslav Sobotka.
The party with the most to celebrate was Ano. Just two years old, the newcomer that has never held a seat in Parliament beat all expectations by garnering 18.7 percent of the vote and 48 seats in Parliament, just barely losing to ČSSD. Ano now has to decide how it wants to play all its new cards.
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(Social Democrat Bohuslav Sobotka, seen on the poster, was hard to catch in the afternoon, retreating into an area closed to the press as the preliminary results showed lower percentage for social democrats with each update. Photo: Jan Macuch)