PRAGUE, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Political parties in the Czech Republic have kicked off electoral campaigns for an early legislative election on October 25-26. The following are the major political parties vying for power.
The Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), which has control of the Senate, is expected to win the largest share of the votes, claiming 30 to 35 percent of votes in recent polls.
In the 2010 legislative election, the center-left, pro-European CSSD got 56 seats in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies, but remained in opposition to the center-right coalition after failing to form a governing coalition with the latter.
TOP 09, which got 41 seats in the Lower House in the 2010 election, is a fiscally conservative party known for its support of the free market and the European Union. It has seen a significant loss of support in recent surveys, garnering 10 to 20 percent of the estimated vote share. The 2010 legislative election was the first election in which TOP 09 won seats in the Czech parliament.
The 2010 election was also the first time that the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia failed to finish third in a Czech election. Opinion polls showed that the Communist Party is staging a comeback with around 15 percent of the estimated vote share, and likely to end up the second or third largest party in the next parliament.
Meanwhile, ANO Political Movement has shot up the opinion polls with 8 to 12 percent. It was founded by Slovak-born billionaire Andrej Babis, who built up Agrofert, the biggest food, agriculture and chemical group in the country.
The Civil Democratic Party, the second-largest party holding 53 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, got 6 to 10 percent of estimated votes in opinion polls. The party finished second in the 2010 election and its leader Petr Necas became prime minister after it formed a center-right coalition with TOP 09 and other parties.
The Czech parliament voted on Aug. 20 to disband after Necas resigned in June amid a corruption and spying scandal. On Aug. 28, Czech President Milos Zeman formally announced to dissolve the lower house and called an early election within 60 days.