Party gains real influence for first time since 1989 after deal to help prime minister win confidence vote

Czech communists have savoured their first taste of power in nearly 30 years after their backing in a parliamentary confidence vote paved the way for a government headed by Andrej Babiš, a scandal-tainted billionaire tycoon, amid vehement protests against their return to the political mainstream.

The 15 MPs of the Communist party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) provided the votes needed to allow a pact formed between Babiš’ Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO) movement and the Social Democrats (ČSSD) to survive its first test, ending nearly nine months of political stalemate that saw the Czech Republic governed by temporary administrations.

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