Ex-Czech PM’s party win most of country’s major cities in municipal elections

Former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s opposition ANO party won most of the country’s major cities in municipal elections that were seen as a test of how the ruling coalition is handling the energy crisis, Reuters reported.

The Czech Republic, like other European Union member states, is struggling with rising inflation caused mainly by high energy prices. The opposition says Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s government is doing too little and too late to help the people.

Czechs voted in more than 6,000 municipalities on Friday and Saturday, and the final results were announced Sunday morning because of a complicated vote distribution system.

The ANO party, which has been in opposition since last fall, won in 17 of 27 major cities, but came in second place in the two largest – the capital Prague and Brno, where the parties of the current governing coalition won.

Most of the seats in local assemblies – 38,099 out of a total of 61,796 – went to various groups of independent candidates, which tend to score the most points in such elections.

Among the individual parties, the ANO was behind the two parties in the governing coalition, Prime Minister Fiala’s Civic Democrats and the Christian Democrats.

The Czechs also voted in the first round of elections for the upper house of parliament, where one-third of the 81 seats in the Senate are contested. Three seats were already filled in the first round.

In the second round next weekend, the opposition ANO will have 17 candidates, the ruling coalition will have 19, and the remaining seats will be filled by other parties and independent candidates.

Regardless of the results of the second round, the ruling coalition will retain its majority in the Senate.

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