|Author (Person)||Rocha, Frederico|
|Series Title||ESO In Focus|
|Publication Date||October 2017|
Background and further information:
The parliamentary election took place in the aftermath of an internal crisis affecting the coalition government at the final period of its mandate. This cabinet was formed by the Social Democrats, the ANO party and the Christian Democrats.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka started by announcing his resignation in May 2017 due to alleged financial irregularities of the government's finance minister, Andrej Babiš. Following a dispute with Czech President Miloš Zeman over the continuation of the cabinet, Mr Sobotka decided instead to dismiss Mr Babiš and replace him with a new finance minister.
The government crisis developed as opinion polls showed the decline of Mr Sobotka's Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) and wider victory margin for the ANO party, founded by Mr Babiš. Amid speculation of his continuation as the leader of the Social Democrats, Mr Sobotka announced his resignation as party leader on 15 June.
On 6 September 2017, the Czech Parliament voted to strip Mr Babiš of his parliamentary immunity after allegations of EU funding fraud emerged. His supporters called the move as an attempt to kill him politically ahead of the election.
Czech police formally charged Mr Babis, the frontrunner to become Czech prime minister in the parliamentary elections, with fraud on the 9 October 2017.
This feature follows the political campaign undertaken in the Czech Republic before the parliamentary election held on 20-21 October 2017.
The Ano party, led by billionaire media mogul Andrej Babiš, was ahead in the opinion polls. Commentators discussed the success of the populist and former finance minister, and predicted a difficult phase of coalition building.
|Countries / Regions||Czechia|