Czech election: Billionaire Babis secures big early lead
A populist billionaire candidate has taken the lead in partial results from the Czech Republic's general election.
Andrej Babis's centrist movement ANO had more than 30% of votes with results in from three-quarters of polling stations.
That puts the party far ahead of its closest rival, the far-right Freedom and Free Democracy party (SPD), on 11.2%.
Mr Babis's ANO (Yes) party campaigned on an anti-establishment and Eurosceptic platform.
Although it is not expected to secure an outright majority, it is projected to win about 30% of the vote – more than twice that of any of its opponents.
Far-right and far-left parties are also predicted to make gains.
Its current coalition partner, the ruling centre-left Social Democrats (CSSD), has seen its projected share tumble since counting began.
- Andrej Babis profile
The projected results make Mr Babis the main contender to become prime minister after coalition negotiations.
The 63 year old is estimated to be worth $4bn (£3bn), making him the country's second richest man – but he has also faced numerous scandals including a fraud indictment and accusations he was a communist-era police agent.
Social Democrat Bohuslav Sobotka headed a coalition formed with Mr Babis's party after a 2013 snap election.
But in May, Mr Sobotka submitted his government's resignation because of a disagreement with Andrej Babis, who was serving as finance minister at the time.
He was unhappy about alleged unexplained business dealings involving Mr Babis.