Czechs have elected a Slovak-born billionaire

Observers do not expect the results of the Czech election to impact Czech-Slovak relations.

Czech PM Andrej Babiš.Czech PM Andrej Babiš.(Source: AP/TASR)

There is more than one post-election development scenario in the Czech Republic. Most of them are counting on Andrej Babiš, the controversial tycoon of Slovak origin, to become prime minister.

Babiš, who served as the Czech finance minister in the past election term, is considered a controversial figure in Slovak business. Deemed the richest Slovak, Babiš bought two Czech leading dailies, MF Dnes and Lidové Noviny, in 2013. His Agrofert conglomerate also owns the Hospodárske Noviny daily in Slovakia.

“I broke not only the political system, but also the media system,” Babis said in a pre-election interview.

Read also:Babiš: I am not a crook, read the story of Chirac or Berlusconi

Another controversy is linked to Babiš’ court dispute with Slovakia’s Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN), which listed him as a confidant of the Communist-time secret service StB in 2013. Babiš denied any collaboration with ŠtB. The Bratislava Regional Court and the Supreme Court decided in Babiš’ favour but most recently the Constitutional Court’s senate issued a verdict on October 12 stating that the ÚPN’s rights were violated and changes the way courts are supposed to deal with such cases.

Concerns

Major Slovak dailies commented on Babiš’s victory with concerns. They have likened him to the Hungarian and Polish governments, which have recently been moving away from principles of liberal democracy.

Czech election result confirms trend to support "the alternative" Czech-Slovak relations are unlikely to change A Slovak to become Czech PM

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: European Union


Top stories

Massive gatherings remember Kuciak and Kušnírová: We did not forget!

One year after the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, large protests took place around Slovakia.

Protest gathering in Bratislava, February 21, 2019.

Journalists one year after the murder: We will not forget

More than 480 journalists have signed the statement issued exactly one year after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.

Murder of journalist: We need to see indictments of masterminds soon

International journalists’ organisations are “cautiously optimistic” after meeting investigators of the Kuciak murder.

Ján Kuciak

Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová were murdered one year ago (timeline)

These are the notable moments of the first year since the murder.

Paying tribute to Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.