Czech government resigns clearing way to early elections.

By bne IntelliNews August 14, 2013

The new Czech government of leftist economist Jiri Rusnok resigned on August 13 after losing a confidence vote in parliament last week, Radio Prague reported. Rusnok government will stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

The move is expected to put an end to a political crisis that started in June with the collapse of the centre-right government of Petr Necas amid a bribery and spying scandal. Then President Milos Zeman appointed his ally Rusnok to form a new government against the will of the main political parties that accused him of trying to grab powers that should belong to the parliament. As expected Rusnok’s government lost a vote of confidence in parliament on August 7. The vote showed that no grouping in parliament commanded a clear majority.

On Aug 20 the lower house of the parliament will vote on a motion to dissolve itself, a step needed to call a snap ballot, ahead of a regular vote next May. The motion was submitted by the main leftist party Social Democrats (CSSD), the Communists and TOP 09 that together have 122 lawmakers in the 200-seat assembly enough for the vote to be successful.

According to the Czech Constitution, the parliament can only be dissolved with the president’s consent and he must call early elections within 60 days of that decision.

Opinion polls show CSSD to likely win an early vote by a double-digit margin. The party has pledged to undo some of the collapsed centre-right cabinet's pension reform and tax utilities and banks to boost public revenue.

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