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Record Czech Poll Support for ANO as Its Leader Adopts Kremlin-Appeasing Narrative

By Albin Sybera | March 12, 2024

Czechia's ANO party, led by populist ex-prime minister and billionaire Andrej Babis, is poised to attract a record-high 38.5% of the vote, according to a national poll conducted by Kantar agency for Czech Television (CT). This figure represents the highest support for a political party in the past decade of Kantar agency polling, making it impossible to form a government without ANO.

Hardening Rhetoric and Geopolitical Tensions

As the election approaches, Babis has intensified his rhetoric, alleging that "Czechia is being dragged into war" in Ukraine. His commentary in the daily MF Dnes, formerly owned by his Agrofert conglomerate, reflects a Kremlin-appeasing narrative.

Challenges to Babis

Foreign Affairs Minister Jan Lipavsky recently labeled Babis "a security threat to this country," citing his undermining of defense capability and international standing. Babis' controversial email, accidentally sent to a former Greenpeace spokesperson, revealed attempts to investigate Lipavsky's family.

Electoral Landscape

The Kantar poll, conducted in February, shows ANO polling nearly double compared to its closest challenger, Fiala's neoliberal ODS party. The socially liberal Pirate Party and the far-right SPD party also feature in the electoral landscape.

Implications

ANO's record support underscores the shifting political dynamics in Czechia, while Babis' controversial actions and rhetoric continue to draw scrutiny.

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