May 25, 2014 / 9:40 PM / 5 years ago

Centrist ANO narrowly wins Czech EU election, PM's party third

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The centrist ANO movement of Finance Minister Andrej Babis narrowly won European Parliament elections in the Czech Republic which was largely shunned by voters, final results showed on Sunday.

ANO won 16.13 percent of the vote, narrowly ahead of the opposition center-right TOP09 with 15.95 and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s center-left Social Democrats with 14.17 percent. All the three leading parties take largely pro-European stance on major policy issues.

Turnout dropped to a record low 18.2 percent, confirming polls that showed Czechs did not believe they could change much in Europe by taking part in the vote.

The Eurosceptic center-right Civic Democrats won 7.67 percent while the libertarian and anti- European Party of Free Citizens scored their first-ever election success with 5.24 percent of the vote, giving them one seat in European Parliament.

The vote is not expected to bring any turmoil to the three-party ruling coalition of the Social Democrats, ANO and the centrist Christian Democrats.

Reporting by Jan Lopatka, editing by Mike Peacock

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