Czechs strike coalition deal after months of turmoil

December 12, 2013 - 7:00:23 am
PRAGUE: Three Czech parties said yesterday they have struck a deal to form a new centre-left coalition government in a breakthrough set to end months of political turmoil.

“I think I can say we’ve finished the job,” Bohuslav Sobotka, chairman of the leftwing Social Democrats (CSSD) who is tipped for prime minister, told reporters.

The CSSD won an October snap election triggered by the collapse of the previous centre-right administration in June. The prime minister at the time, Petr Necas, fell over a bribery and spy scandal involving his then lover and now wife.

The CSSD will team up with the billionaire-led populist ANO party, which sprang out of nowhere to finish a close second in the snap vote. 

The smaller centrist Christian Democrats are also a party to the coalition that will command a sound majority of 111 votes in the 200-seat parliament.

“It seems that the Czech Republic will have clear leadership at least for some time,” Pavel Saradin, a political analyst at Palacky University said.

Taxes and health care fees were at the heart of the coalition talks, but negotiators were reluctant to release details yesterday. AFP
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