by WorldTribune Staff, October 23, 2017
A populist billionaire often referred to as the “Czech Donald Trump” is set to be the next prime minister of the Czech Republic.
Andrej Babis and his anti-establishment party ANO won in a landslide in elections held on Oct. 20.
Babis has been an outspoken critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policy.
“I will not accept refugee quotas for the Czech Republic,” Babis said.
“The situation has changed. We see how migrants react in Europe. We must react to the needs and fears of the citizens of our country. We must guarantee the security of Czech citizens. Even if we are punished by sanctions.”
During the campaign, Babis said “It is unthinkable that the indigenous European population should adapt themselves to the refugees. We must do away with such nonsensical political correctness. The refugees should behave like guests, that is, they should be polite, and they certainly do not have the right to choose what they want to eat…. There is a deep chasm between what people think and what the media tell them.”
ANO (which stands for “Action of Dissatisfied Citizens” and is also the Czech word for “yes”) won nearly 30 percent of the vote. The Eurosceptic Civic Democratic Party (ODS), the anti-establishment Czech Pirates Party and the anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy party (SPD) came second, third and fourth, with around 11 percent each.
The Communists finished fifth with 7.8 percent. The Social Democrats, the center-left establishment party that finished first in the previous election, came in sixth with just 7.2 percent. The Christian Democrats, the center-right establishment party, won 5.8 percent, just enough to qualify for seats in parliament.
The 63-year-old Babis, one of the country’s wealthiest people, “vowed to run the Czech Republic like a business after years of what he called corrupt and inept management,” Soeren Kern wrote for New York-based Gatestone Institute on Oct. 22.
“He demanded a return of sovereignty from the European Union and rejected Czech adoption of the euro single currency. He has also promised to cut government spending, stop people from ‘being parasites’ in the social welfare system, and fight for Czech interests abroad,” Kern wrote.