Czech parliament in move to trigger early election

Thursday 08 August 2013 12.58
The chamber yesterday voted against giving a vote of confidence to the government of Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok
The chamber yesterday voted against giving a vote of confidence to the government of Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok

The lower house of the Czech parliament will hold a session to dissolve itself sometime next week opening the way for an early election, according to two politicians.

The decision comes a day after the chamber voted against giving a vote of confidence to the government of Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok.

The Czech government was thrown into disarray in June after the centre-right cabinet of then prime minister Petr Necas collapsed over a graft and spying scandal.

President Milos Zeman then appointed his supporter Mr Rusnok to form a cabinet, bypassing political parties that had proposed other options.

They accused Mr Zeman of grabbing powers that belong to parliament.

"We have not agreed on a date yet. The extraordinary session should take place next week," Pavel Kovacik, the chairman of the Communist party caucus told Reuters.

Separately, Deputy Speaker Jan Hamacek, member of the centre-left Social Democrats, confirmed the vote would take place next week.

An election could then be held in the autumn, most likely in October.

Yesterday's vote showed Mr Rusnok did not have enough support from leftist parties to rule.

But it also showed centre-right factions in parliament, which had claimed having 101 votes in the 200-seat house, had lost several deputies and was not a viable alternative to form a government.

The break prompted the conservative TOP09 party, part of the centre-right grouping, to join earlier calls by the main leftist parties and Mr Zeman to hold an early election.

Support from TOP09 will likely be enough for the early election motion to be approved.

Czech Social Democrat party leader Bohuslav Sobotka has said he believed there was sufficient support for a motion to dissolve parliament and hold an early election.

Keywords: czech