Czech Republic voters move to right in general election

A man bicycles past an election poster for the Civic Democratic Party, featuring leader Petr Necas (left) and leader of the opposing Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek (right). It had been expected that no party would win an overall majority

Related Stories

Results from the Czech Republic's general election suggest centre-right parties will form the next government.

Left-wing Social Democrats won most votes in the election, with 22%, but did far worse than opinion polls had been suggesting.

Jiri Paroubek quickly quit as leader of the party, saying the country was "on track for a right-wing coalition".

The conservative Civic Democrats have 20.2%, but potential allies could boost that towards a majority.

One of them, TOP09, has 16.7%, while the centrist Public Affairs party has 10.9%.

It is still unclear who will become prime minister.

The big campaign issues included cutting the deficit, pension reform and stamping out corruption.

The country has had an interim administration since the centre-right government was toppled halfway through the country's European Union presidency in March 2009.

Low debt levels

The BBC's Rob Cameron in Prague said Mr Paroubek would have had the first chance to form a government but the numbers simply did not add up.

Mr Paroubek himself said: "It seems that people have chosen the direction the republic should go in and it is a different direction than the one the Social Democrats were offering.

"For me personally it leads to the result of leaving the post of head of the Social Democrat party."

The centre-right parties favour big budget cuts to try to stave off a financial crisis similar to the one that has enveloped Greece.

Civic Democrat election leader Petr Necas said of the result: "It is great news that will allow the Czech Republic to avoid a repeat of the Greek scenario."

Our correspondent says a centre-right cluster could come together but it could take politicians weeks - or even months - to form a new government.

Voting took place over two days - a full day on Friday, followed by a half-day on Saturday.

Turnout was put at 62.1%.

A total of 25 parties, fielding some 5,000 candidates, competed for 200 seats in the lower house of the Czech parliament.

Opinion polls ahead of the election had put support for the Social Democrats at about 30%.

The Czech Republic has managed to sail through the worst of the economic crisis, thanks to relatively low levels of debt and continued growth, our correspondent says.

But he adds that analysts say big problems such as an unsustainable pension system are being ignored.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules

  • Painting from Rothschild collectionDark arts Watch

    The 50-year fight to recover paintings looted by the Nazis

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree


  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.