Czechia’s Babis visits voters in caravan trip, says it’s no ‘campaign tour’

Czech media this week were flooded with photos of billionaire and ANO chair Babiš making scrambled eggs in his caravan and taking pictures with people in several towns in the south of the country. His campaign stunts to show how he connects with ordinary voters have paid off in the past. [EPA-EFE/JOHANNA GERON]

Former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš still refuses to say whether he is preparing his presidential campaign for next year’s elections although he was seen going across the country in his caravan to meet voters.

Czech media this week were flooded with photos of billionaire and ANO chair Babiš making scrambled eggs in his caravan and taking pictures with people in several towns in the south of the country. His campaign stunts to show how he connects with ordinary voters have paid off in the past.

Babiš, who became “head of the opposition” after the autumn general elections, is clearly not enjoying his new role as an MP. But this does not seem to bother his constituents, particularly older voters who say they support the former prime minister’s promises to raise pensions or use state budget funds.

As experts point out, Babiš is cleverly exploiting the growing frustration in Czech society with inflation, rising prices and the refugee crisis. The Czech Republic is filled with campaign billboards, where various “ordinary citizens” proclaim that things were better under his government.

According to the latest polls, the former prime minister is among the favourites for the presidency, with his main rival being the general and former head of the NATO military committee Petr Pavel. Miloš Zeman’s successor as president is expected to be confirmed in March 2023.

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