PRAGUE (Sputnik) – The Czech opposition alliance Together grabbed the victory from Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s ANO party by a razor-thin margin, with 99% of ballots counted, according to official figures.
"I must admit that we have lost. I congratulate Together leader [Petr] Fiala on his victory. We lost Prague, first of all, but we still secured a large share of votes", Babis said.
Together has 27.7% of the vote to ANO’s 27.2%, with 99% of the vote counted, according to the Czech TV. Together said it will start coalition talks with the third-placed Pirates/Mayors, which is on 15.5%, to secure a simple majority in parliament.A coalition of Together and Pirates/Mayors would have a simple majority of 109 seats in the 200-seat parliament. Their leaders said they would begin coalition negotiations immediately.
Previously, exit polls suggested that the Prime Minister would win a narrow victory.
The final results will be announced later Saturday.Babis faced some troubles earlier this month after his name was mentioned in the Pandora Papers – a major leak that revealed details of the alleged financial secrets of over 35 current and former world leaders, as well as 300 high-ranking officials. The papers claimed that Babis used an offshore company to purchase a lush chateau for $22 million. The politician responded by saying that all his actions were legal.