Czech president says to call snap elections for Oct 25-26 if lower house votes on dissolution.

By bne IntelliNews August 16, 2013

Czech president Milos Zeman said he would call snap elections for October 25-26 if the lower house of parliament votes to dissolve itself next week, CTK news agency informed on Aug 16 citing an interview of Zeman for left-leaning daily Halo noviny.

The lawmakers started on Aug 16 debating the motion on dissolution submitted by three of the main parties with a vote expected on August 20. The vote will pave the way to early elections ending a political crisis that started in June with the collapse of the centre-right government of Petr Necas who resigned amid a bribery and spying scandal. The political standoff deepened further after Zeman appointed his long-time leftist ally Jiri Rusnok to replace Necas against the will of the political parties and expectedly Rusnok’s government failed to win a vote of confidence in parliament earlier this month.

The dissolution motion needs to be supported by a constitutional majority of 120 lawmakers in the 200-seat assembly. The main leftist party Social Democrats (CSSD), the Communists and TOP 09, that filed the motion, together have 122 lawmakers, 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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