The CSSD Social Democratic Party has won the legislative elections held in the Czech Republic with 20.5 percent of the vote, the Office of Statistics in Prague said.

Behind the CSSD, which dropped 1.6 percent compared with the 2010 elections, came a surprise challenge from the new populist ANO party, once the ballots were counted from 99.3 percent of the polling stations.

Coming in third was the KSCM Communist Party, with 15 percent, while the the party that was in power until recently, the liberal Top 09, was left with 11.9 percent.

Also finding a place in the 200-seat Parliament was the liberal ODS party, which crashed from 20 percent in 2010 to 7.7 percent this time out.

Also rising above the required minimum of 5 percent of the vote were two other parties that have been on the outside until now - the conservative Christian Democrat KDU-SCL with 6.8 percent, and the new Dawn of Direct Democracy party of the senator and businessman of Japanese origin, Tomio Okamura, with 6.9 percent.

Participation in these elections, which began Friday and ended Saturday at 2:00 p.m. local time (1200 GMT), reached 59 percent, 3 percent less than in 2010.

The fragmented result points to considerable complications in forming a government, since the left does not have a majority of seats in Parliament. EFE