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Economic growth helped gov’t parties in elections, analysts say

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Prague, Oct 8 (CTK) – Good results of the government parties, mainly the ANO movement, in the October 7-8 regional elections were caused by the improving economic situation in the Czech Republic, analysts addressed by CTK agreed Saturday.
The centre-left coalition government is comprised of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
According to analysts, voters did not feel the need to “punish” the government parties for national politics, unlike in the previous regional polls four years ago.
The impact of the regional elections on the economy of the country is not much too high, but the rise in ANO’s influence in the regions after the polls can indirectly complicate the functioning of the government and escalate the rivalry between ANO and the CSSD, David Marek, main economist of Deloitte company, told CTK.
The Czech economy is thriving, which people may perceive in decreasing unemployment and rising salaries in some branches. However, this is a cyclical development of the economy, which was, among others, boosted by cheap oil, and that was apparent mainly this year, said Lukas Kovanda, main economist of Roklen.
Though, the current government does not have such a high influence on the current economic situation, the ruling parties’ preferences will not be decreasing in the future either.
This is primarily true about ANO that is not burdened with the past before 2013, which voters connect with the economic crisis, Kovanda pointed out.
Frantisek Bostl, analyst of the Chytry Honza company, ANO’s results in the regional elections can be understood as a message about the introduction of the electronic registration of sales (EET), pushed through by ANO that the opposition sharply criticised.
The elections show that people do not consider the introduction of EET a fundamental problem, Bostl added.
ANO is a clear election winner, leading in nine of the 13 regions contested.
The Social Democrats, who dominated the regions for eight years, having 11 out of the 13 regional governors, won only in two regions, while the Christian Democrats won in one.
The three coalition parties also have the most candidates advancing to next weekend’s runoffs for 27 seats in the 81-seat Senate, while ANO has also the absolutely highest number of candidates advancing.
Election turnout was over 33 percent.

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