Prague, October 9 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – October 9, 2021): A populist billionaire prime minister at odds with the European Union who was featured in Pandora newspapers has been tipped to win a tight two-day Czech parliamentary election that ends will end on Saturday.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis is aiming for a second consecutive victory for his populist ANO party despite his run-ins with the law.
The 67-year-old food, chemicals and media mogul faces police charges over alleged fraud of EU grants and the bloc’s dismay over his conflict of interest as a man businessman and politician.
Last weekend, Pandora Papers’ investigation showed that it had used money from its offshore companies to finance the purchase of property in the south of France in 2009, including a castle.
He called the allegations a slanderous campaign, and opinion polls still see the former Communist as the election favorite, with support reaching up to 30%.
Voting in the village of Zadni Treban, southwest of Prague on Saturday, Jana Selucka said she wanted the opposition parties to win.
“I saw the tremendous interest in voting yesterday, which was surprising. People really want a change that will make our lives better,” she told AFP.
Jan Hovorka from the same village said he expected the vote “to stop the oligarchization of politics that endanger democracy”.
“Politics should be seen as a public service paid for with public money and not as an opportunity to earn as much money as possible,” he told AFP.
Voting in the northern town of Lovosice, Babis himself called for “stability for this unstable period”.
“We shouldn’t be changing governments now,” he said.
Polling stations will close at 12:00 GMT, with results expected later on Saturday.