PRAGUE: Czech President Milos Zeman will call an early election for Oct. 25-26 if the lower house of parliament votes to dissolve itself on Tuesday, his office said on Friday, to try to end political gridlock that has stalled policymaking.
The lower house is expected to pass the motion on dissolution to open the way for an election after the cabinet of Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok, a longtime ally of leftist Zeman, failed to win a confidence vote this month.
Parties have accused Zeman of making a power grab by appointing Rusnok against their wishes after the previous centre-right government collapsed under the weight of a spying and bribery scandal in June.
The conservative TOP09 party, part of the former ruling coalition, has joined the main leftist parties the Social Democrats and Communists in support of a new election after the confidence vote showed the centre-right no longer had a majority because of defections.
TOP09's vote will give the motion to dissolve parliament the needed constitutional majority to pass.
In an interview with Halo Noviny, a paper with personal ties to the Communist party, Zeman said he announced the possible date for a new election there first because of the Communists' support of Rusnok in the failed confidence vote. (Reuters)