The Defeat of a Populist Czech Republic PM: Is Populism Retreating in Europe?
Despite the outbreak of populist waves all across the globe, the Czech Republic elections have proved detrimental for the ruling populist who has lost that country's recent election.
The prime minister of the Czech Republic, who compared himself with former US President Donald Trump, is now going to be out of his office within almost one year of Trump's departure.
As the center-right coalition won the majority votes in the country, Andrej Babis' defeat will have a significant impact on the course of the nation's politics.
The billionaire prime minister was defeated as the opposition parties are likely to win 108 out of 200 seats, which will narrowly push him away from the power corridors.
This result is apparently depicting a receding wave of populism in central and Eastern Europe, which could encourage voters from other nations as well to exacerbate their efforts in denouncing populism in their own countries.
The liberal voters in the Czech Republic have thrown the populist leader out of office. The prime minister knows this thing well. as he blamed the liberal voters of the capital city, Prague, for contributing toward his loss.
The ousting of the populist prime minister, however, did not come easy. Opposition parties collaborated to overthrow him with a razor-thin margin, as they succeeded in grabbing 27.8 percent votes compared to 27.13 of the current ruling party.
The Receding Wave of Populism in Europe Could be Incited by the Czech Republic's Elections
The result will serve the downfall of conservatism in Europe as well, as this defeat of the far-right politician has much to offer to the neighboring countries as well.
Another nearby country, Hungary, could duplicate the consequences of this election, as Hungarian leader Viktor Orban is going to elections next year, which has much similar voter dynamics.
This Fidesz party of this self-proclaimed leader of the "illiberal democracy" can face the same fate if the opposition parties can stick to their vision of running the elections in a coalition.
Then comes the prime minister of Slovenia, Janez Jansa, a like-minded critic of the liberal ideology and an avid defender of conservatism, who is also facing a drastic trend in his approval rating. He is also inspired by Donald Trump and often backed so-called anti-communist rhetoric.
As populism got a hit in the Czech Republic election, the defeated leader could try to form the government, seeing that the elections were extremely close.
The hospitalized President Milos Zeman could back Babris for being the highest vote taker as a single party, but the coalition of the opposition parties is ready to give him a tough time.
Like other populist leaders, the premiers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovenia are also characterized by the anti-immigrant rhetoric that sets them apart in impressing the xenophobic elements.
The political experts thus are suggesting that this election was a sort of referendum against the serving prime minister instead of revolving around the policy matters.
In all, his excessive reliance on anti-immigration rhetoric did not help him in crossing the finish line, though it brought him too close to it.
Many pundits also believe that Babis' defeat came as a result of him mixing right-wing rhetoric and left-wing policies, which did not help him to be the man of one political ideology in its entirety.
For instance, he inspired the public by his pro-right ideas yet continued supporting the government funding programs of increasing pensions and supporting the poor, which is attributed as a left-wing ideology.
Pandora Papers: The Timely Release of Them Could Have a Decisive Impact on Czech Republic Elections
The shocking release of the Pandora Papers added insult to injury for the ensnared prime minister, whose name came in the financial mismanagement accusations just days ahead of the nation's elections.
The voters were dismayed with his name present in the list of the individuals who accumulated riches using offshore companies.
This release of the Pandora Papers has made the guesswork difficult whether voters swayed away from him for his financial fraud or his extremist right-wing narrative.
Many political pundits are evincing that the Pandora Papers contributed little, if any, role in deciding the elections because even his voters do not view him as a financially uncorrupted person.
A recent survey suggested that only 22 percent of Babis' voters think that he is an honest man, which manifests that although it can be a contributing factor, it was still not the only one.