Parliamentary Elections

20-21 October 2017

Result: ANO 29.6%; ODS 11.3%; Pirate Party 10.7%; Freedom and Direct Democracy 10.6%; KSCM 7.7%; CSSD 7.2%; KDU-CSL 5.8%; TOP 09 5.3%. ANO leader Andrej Babis has been appointed by President Zeman to form a governing coalition (ANO gained 78 of the 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, short of a majority). He has run into resistance from some parties that refuse to enter into a coalition with him while he is under investigation for subsidy fraud. However, the Social Democrats have softened their stance and the two parties are in talks to reach a coalition agreement that would be tacitly supported by the Communists (KSCM) to reach a majority in the Chamber (ANO’s 78 seats, CSSD’s 15 seats, and KSCM’s 15 seats).


  • Bicameral parliament in a unitary parliamentary republic: Chamber of Deputies (200 members) and Senate (81 members); October election is for the Chamber of Deputies, the only body to which the Government is responsible.
  • Deputies elected every 4 years, through a proportional party list system, in 14 electoral districts.
  • Electoral threshold for one party to enter parliament is 5% of the vote, 10% for 2-party coalition.
  • Current coalition: Social Democrats (CSSD, holds the Prime Minister position), ANO, and Christian and Democratic Union–Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU-CSL).


  • 8 parties polling above the threshold
  • New political parties
    • ANO: founded in 2011 and led by one of the Czech Republic’s wealthiest men, populist; anti-corruption; against further EU integration and adopting the euro as a currency; anti-immigration; pro-NATO, seeks better relations with Russia.
    • Czech Pirate Party (Pirati): founded in 2009 by young people, focused on digital freedom and privacy; anti-establishment, direct democracy; liberalism; pro-EU; pro-NATO but foreign deployments only under UN mandate.
    • TOP 09: founded in 2009 (split from KDU-CSL); center-right; liberal-conservative; fiscal conservatism; pro-EU; pro-NATO. 
  • Traditional parties
    • Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD): center-left; social-democracy, mixed economy; pro-EU; pro-NATO.
    • Civic Democratic Party (ODS): right-wing; liberal conservatism, free market; socially conservative; mild Euroscepticism; pro-NATO.
    • Christian and Democratic Union— Czechoslovak People’s Party (KDU-CSL): center-right; Christian democracy; socially conservative; pro-EU; pro-NATO.
  • Extreme parties
    • Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM): far-left; communism; Eurosceptic; anti-NATO, supports Russian policy interests.
    • Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD): far-right; populism; anti-immigration; hard Euroscepticism; advocates a referendum on EU and NATO membership.

Impact on U.S. Interests

  • NATO member, participant in Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan (216 troops) and KFOR in Kosovo; partner in anti-ISIL coalition, $20 million in assistance to Syria, Iraq and neighboring countries between 2012 and 2016;
  • Two-way trade in goods in 2016 totaled $6.37 billion; U.S. FDI in Czech Republic in 2015 reached $5.83 billion;
  • Growing opposition to EU policies on integration, the euro, and refugees risks destabilizing the bloc, and composition of the new coalition will impact these decisions.

Key Issues to Watch

  • ANO’s leader, Andrej Babis, holds huge economic power, his company Agrofert has ties to Russia’s Gazprom, and he stands to gain important political power after the election, fostering worries of conflicts of interest.
  • Babis opposes sanctions on Russia, and there are worries that he would push the country closer to Russia if he becomes Prime Minister, combined with the current views of the (ceremonial) Czech President Milos Zeman, who is also close to the Kremlin;
  • Babis’ parliamentarian immunity was lifted to allow for an investigation that led to charges of subsidy fraud for misuse of EU subsidies, and he faces accusations of collaboration with the former Communist secret police. Coalition formation may keep Babis out of the Prime Minister position if he is charged and other parties refuse his presence in government due to the charges.
  • The Czech government refuses to accept asylum seekers through the EU’s resettlement quota. The European Commission has initiated legal proceedings against the Czech Republic.


Data source: Median and Kantar TNS

Data source: Median and Kantar TNS

*June and July surveys polled for KDU-CSL in coalition with a smaller party, STAN.