TAKE A LOOK-Czech billionaire Babis favourite to win parliamentary election

PRAGUE, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Czech voters look set to hand power to billionaire businessman Andrej Babis, whose anti-establishment rhetoric has convinced voters he can fix the EU country’s problems, from graft to transportation.

Polls gave Babis’s ANO party a wide lead over all rivals but not by enough to secure a majority in parliament. It will need partners to form a government, which analysts believe will tame any radical policy swings.

Rivals say that Babis is a threat to democracy because of his business power, authoritative style and media investments.

Voting ends at 2 pm (1200 GMT) on Saturday.

GRAPHIC WITH POLLS, PARTIES > http://tmsnrt.rs/2vO4hPW

LATEST ELECTION NEWS > Czech voters seen handing power to billionaire businessman Babis > Rich businessman likely next leader as Czechs vote new parliament > Front-runner likely to put stamp on state-owned CEZ > Favourite’s tax cuts, investments may tip budget balancing act > Czech ANO party dips but keeps commanding lead before vote

> Czech election favourite Babis hard on Brussels, light on ideology > Czechs pin hopes on billionaire Babis to fix their country > Court axes rulings clearing PM frontrunner of secret police links > Police charge PM candidate Babis with subsidy fraud > Likely next PM criticises EU sanctions on Russia > Election favourite Babis says CEZ split would cost consumers

INTERVIEWS > Smaller EU states need stronger voice, says election favourite > Ruling party says wage growth must be priority for next govt ANDREJ BABIS PROFILE > Billionaire businessman Babis is at heart of political crisis > FACTBOX-Babis’s business empire

ECONOMY > Czech economy revs up with record quarterly growth > Czech central bank holds off on further rate hike in slim vote > Record-low unemployment, growing CPI bolster rate hike chances > Czech wages jump at fastest in decade as economy soars > Main trade union calls for bigger pay hikes as economy soars > Czech 2017 budget gap to be less than planned, surplus possible > Czech government approves 2018 budget with shrinking deficit > ANALYSIS-No more low cost: East Europe goes up in the world (Prague Newsroom)

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