Czechs Defeat a Populist, Offering a Road Map for Toppling Strongmen

Mr. Jerousek was ecstatic about the final results late Saturday. “People finally opened their eyes,” he said. “They have had enough.”

Petr Stransky, a former police officer who now drives a municipal bus, was despondent. “I don’t like disorder and like things to be clear in society,” he said, bemoaning Mr. Babis’s defeat at the hands of what he said was unfair ganging up by opposition parties.

The mayor of the village, Daniel Strasky, said that while he wanted to see Mr. Babis go, he did not vote because he objected to an alliance between his own party, which represents mayors and other local dignitaries, and the Pirates, a rambunctious group popular with young voters.

But, he added, the loveless electoral marriage was probably worthwhile because it helped defeat Mr. Babis, whose handouts to pensioners, young rail travelers and other budget-busting measures offended the mayor’s belief in financial discipline.

Mr. Strasky was also distressed by the prime minister’s anti-immigration tirades, especially because a family from Vietnam runs the village’s only food store.

“I and everyone else in the village are so glad they are here,” the mayor said. “Nobody else would ever run that shop.”

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