Parliamentary Elections

October 8-9, 2021​


Sitting Prime Minister Babis’ ANO party was defeated by the newly formed center-right coalition SPOLU. The representation of ANO decreased slightly to 27.1% of the votes (29.6% in 2017) and 72 seats (78 in 2017). On the other hand, the SPOLU coalition, which won 27.8% of the vote, can be seen as a successful mode of cooperation. All parties in the coalition increased their seats significantly, with ODS winning 34 seats (+9 from 2017), KDU-CSL winning 23 seats (+13 from 2017) and Top-09 doubling their seats to 14 (+7 from 2017).

The Pirates and Mayors performed as expected in the polls, with a total 15.6% of the votes.

The Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), Oath (PSH), and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) did not meet the electoral threshold of 5% of the votes and will therefore not be a part of the new parliament.

Government formation was delayed after the election due to the sudden illness of President Zeman, but there is an agreement for a majority government consisting of the winning SPOLU together with Pirates and Mayors. The government will be led by Petr Fiala of ODS as Prime Minister and the government coalition will have 108 seats out of 200 in the Chamber of Deputies.


  • 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 are elected every 4 years, through a proportional party list system, in 14 electoral districts.
  • The electoral threshold for any party to enter parliament is 5% of the vote.
  • Current government coalition: Prime Minister Andrej Babis leads a minority government made up of his ANO party and the social democrats (CSSD).


  • Main parties:
    • ANO: led by Prime Minister Babis, the second wealthiest men in the Czech Republic, who has been embroiled in a series of corruption scandals; populist; against further EU integration; anti-immigration; pro-NATO; previously advocated closer relations with Russia, though this has abated in the wake of a series of escalatory diplomatic expulsions in the spring.
    • SPOLU (ODS, KDU-CSL, Top-09): led by Petr Fiala of ODS; main opposition coalition, made up of center-right, liberal conservative parties; socially conservative; pro-EU; pro-NATO.
    • Pirates and Mayors: led by Ivan Bartos; anti-establishment, progressive; direct democracy; strongly pro-EU and pro-NATO, but supports foreign deployments only under a UN mandate.
    • Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD): far-right; populist; anti-immigration; Euroskeptic; favors an exit from the EU and advocates a referendum on both EU and NATO membership.
    • Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD): center-left; social democracy, mixed economy; pro-EU; pro-NATO; party of Czech president Milos Zeman, who is known for advocating closer relations with Russia and China and who has supported Babis.
    • Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM): far-left, communist; Euroskeptic; anti-NATO; supports Russian policy interests; tacitly supports the current governing coalition.
    • Oath (PSH): founded in 2021 by the former head of the Combatting Organized Crime Unit Robert Slachta; anti-corruption platform; centrist; populist; polling ahead of most of the smaller parties.

Impact on U.S. Interests

  • A NATO member since 1999, the Czech Republic contributes forces to KFOR in Kosovo, was a contributor to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and has partnered with allies in the anti-ISIL coalition.
  • In 2020, two-way trade between the Czech Republic and the U.S. totaled $8.51 billion; U.S. FDI in the Czech Republic reached $6.74 billion in 2018.
  • Relations with Russia declined in 2021 after Czech security services determined that Russia was behind a deadly warehouse blast in 2014, leading to a series of escalating diplomatic expulsions. The Czech Republic subsequently reversed course on the purchase of Russian Sputnik vaccines and excluded Russia’s Rosatom from bidding on the construction of the Dukovany nuclear power plant.
  • The Czech Republic is a member of the now 16+1 format and has received approximately $1 billion in Chinese investment. In 2019, Beijing terminated its sister-city partnership with Prague over disagreements with China’s ‘One China’ policy; Prague subsequently signed a sister-city agreement with Taipei.

Key Issues to Watch

  • The Czech Republic’s economy is slowly recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, with GDP growth forecast for 3.9 percent in 2021; rising inflation and labor shortages have challenged recovery. The Czech Republic has the second-highest coronavirus death rate in the EU, relative to its population.
  • In June, Babis narrowly survived a no-confidence vote brought forth over conflict of interest allegations against Babis and allegations that the government mishandled the pandemic. In his bid to win reelection, Babis has relied on populist messaging, promising that the Czech Republic will not accept migrants, supporting higher pensions, and cutting taxes.
  • President Zeman has vowed to give the best performing, singular party in the election the mandate to form a government. With ANO leading in the polls, it is likely that Zeman will give the mandate to Babis despite his difficulty with identifying other coalition partners (particularly if CSSD fails to enter parliament). A constitutional crisis could ensue.
  • A tranche of documents (the ‘Pandora Papers’) released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on October 3rd revealed that in 2009 Babis moved $22 million through a series of shell companies to covertly purchase a French chateau, potentially aiding opponents who accuse Babis of corruption. Babis has derided allegations as a plot to undercut his electoral prospects.


Source: Politico Poll of Polls

Source: Politico Poll of Polls