They were followed by the far-right SPD on 10.81% and the Social Democrats — who are part of the current governing coalition — at 5.05%.
However the early results do not show Babiš’s ANO party with a clear path to parliamentary majority, and it is possible the country’s new prime minister could come from the joined-up coalitions.
Complicating matters further, President Miloš Zeman — who has thrown his support behind ANO and Babiš — said he would ask the single party with the most votes to try to form a government, even if there is no clear path to a majority.
The 67-year-old business tycoon also faced challenges from opposition parties over his financial dealings, which they claimed represented a conflict of interest.
Pandora’s box of scandals
Responding on Twitter, Babiš wrote: “There is no case that they can pull against me during the time I am in politics.
“I have never done anything unlawful or bad, but it does not stop them to try to slander me again and to try to influence Czech parliamentary elections,” he added.
A businessman who is worth about $3.4 billion, according to Bloomberg, Babiš has railed against the elite since he became prime minister in 2017, vowing to crack down on tax avoidance.
But his premiership has been dogged by long-standing allegations of financial impropriety.
Babiš rejected the findings, saying the audit was “manipulated and artificially induced by professional snitches” from the ranks of opposition parties.
CNN Prima’s John Mastrini reported from Prague, CNN’s Sheena McKenzie wrote in London. Rob Iddiols, Vasco Cotovio and Ivana Kottasová contributed to this report