Tough Coalition Talks in Store for Czech RepublicWorld | October 27, 2013, Sunday // 12:18| views
Czech President Milos Zeman casting his vote Saturday. Photo by EPA/BGNES
General elections in the Czech Republic have failed to produce a decisive winner, opening the prospects for difficult coalition talks in the days ahead.
Former ruling rightist parties suffered a defeat, pushing Bohuslav Sobotka's Social Democrats (CSSD) to a narrow first at 21%, according to preliminary results.
The second place is a suprise - the new populist ANO party led by businessman Andrej Babis, which got some 19% of the vote.
The Communist Party (KSCM) comes third with some 15%.
This makes it unfeasible for the Social Democrats to form a minority government with the support of the Communists.
CSSD can rely on some 50 and KSCM - on some 33 MP seats in the 200-seat lower house of the Czech Parliament.
Former PM Petr Necas's Civic Democratic Party (ODS) came only fifth with 7.7%, with coalition partner Top09 fourth with 12%.
Parties Dawn of Direct Democracy and the Chirstian and Democratic Union are the two others to make it to parliament, with 6.9% and 6.8%, respectively.
It is believed that the Social Democrats could also seek coalition with ANO.
The first stages of coalition talks are reported to have started right after voting ended Saturday evening.
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