The Czech election has left a rather fragmented result. With all the ballots in, the Social Democrats are ahead with 20 percent, not enough to govern alone.
Billionaire centrist Andrej Babis emerged as the next big winner storming into second place with 18 percent of the vote, meaning the man dubbed Babisconi could become kingmaker.
Celebrations were muted at the Social Democrats headquarters as thoughts turned to coalition talks.
“We would like to meet the remaining parties in the next few days to compare our electoral programmes, to compare our political priorities, to be able to get ready the concept of the next stable government of the Czech Republic,” declared Bohuslav Sobotka, leader of the Social Democratic Party.
Over at Babis’ camp, his ANO party revelled in their result, though reports suggest he may be reticent to join forces with the Social Democrats.“The number of people who voted for us is unbelievable,” declared Anrej Babis before a crowd of his supporters. “We never imagined achieving such a result,” We thank you very much. I think you (the voters) appreciated our positive campaigning, in which we did not attack anyone. “
The communists came in third, ending their hopes of power sharing in a minority government with the Social Democrats.
The country which only just emerged from a lengthy recession and a corruption scandal which led to the snap elections now faces the prospect of prolonged horse-trading, as parties haggle over their political agenda.