Billionaire Andrej Babis sworn in as Czech prime minister

ASSOCIATED PRESS
PRAGUE
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Czech President Milos Zeman has sworn in a populist billionaire as the country's new prime minister after his centrist movement won landslide parliamentary elections.

President Milos Zeman appointed the billionaire businessman Babis, although he has so far not secured parliamentary backing for his one-party minority cabinet and faces an uncertain confidence vote to be held by mid-January. The full cabinet will be appointed and take power on Dec. 13, allowing Babis to take part in a European Union leaders' summit the following day. Andrej Babis' ANO (YES) movement won 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house of Parliament in October. Known for his resolve to run the state like a company, Babis opposes setting a date for the adoption the euro common currency and rejects the EU's relocation system for migrants.

Yesterday's appointment comes despite fraud charges against him, a reason why none of the other parties agreed to create a coalition government with ANO.

Babis has created an ANO minority government with independent experts. Zeman, his ally, is expected to swear in the Cabinet next Wednesday. Any new government has to win a parliamentary confidence vote to rule.

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