The Czech prime minister’s ANO emerged the strongest party in nationwide municipal elections on Saturday, winning in all regional capitals except two including Prague.
It was the first popular test for the minority government formed in July. The quadrennial municipal vote may carry more weight this time as local budgets have helped to keep the overall Czech fiscal balance in surplus in the past two years.
“When we look at the regional big cities, in 2014, we had nine victories and now we may have 11. As for the districts, in 2014 we had 13 wins and now we have 17,” Babiš told the news server Seznam. “I think our citizens see that the Ano movement is moving our country forward. To the top of Europe.”
With 60 percent of the votes counted, the ANO of Andrej Babis came in third with 15.9 percent in Prague, where it won four years ago.
ANO’s coalition partner in the minority government, the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), looked on course to have no member on the Prague city assembly for the first time ever as the oldest Czech party fared poorly across the country.