Czech PM Necas re-elected as ODS leader ahead of confidence vote.

By bne IntelliNews November 5, 2012
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas was re-elected as leader of the senior ruling Civic Democrats (ODS) ahead of a key vote that could bring down his government this week. Necas was backed by 351 of the 592 voting delegates in a secret ballot, while his opponent Ivan Fuksa, one of the rebel ODS lawmakers that are against the government's plans for tax hikes, gained 178 votes, CTK newswire reported citing ODS election commission head Jan Vidim. Despite the victory, Necas still faces the challenge to get enough support in the parliament to pass the tax hike bill that is tied to a vote of confidence since the ODS lawmakers who are opposing the bill did not change their minds at the congress. In early September six ODS lawmakers joined the opposition and voted against the government's bill that seeks to raise both VAT rates by 1pp to 15% and 21%, respectively, and impose a new levy for top earners bringing in CZK 22bn (EUR 871.4mn) in extra budget revenue. Necas said the bill is crucial for the government's efforts to trim the budget gap to 2.9% of GDP from 3.2% expected for 2012. The rebel ODS deputies, on the other hand, say they are against the package as it will further harm the economy that is slipping deeper into recession. The centre-right coalition government now has only 99 votes in the 200-seat parliament, after one of the rebel ODS lawmaker quit the party last week.
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