Czech elections to change political landscape

08:24, May 31, 2010      

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Czech voters have obviously changed the political landscape in the country with Saturday's parliamentary elections, analysts say.

Two main parties, the right-wing Civic Democrats (ODS) and the central left-wing Social Democrats (CSSD), turned out to be big losers after losing much of its support among voters. Two former ruling parties, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and the Green Party (SZ), did not even garner enough votes to qualify Chamber of Deputies. Two new parties, the TOP 09 and the Public Affairs (VV), however, emerged as big winners and will have a strong say about the country's future.

It will not last long for the three central-right parties to form a ruling coalition, observers predicted.

The three parties, namely the ODS, the TOP 09 and the centrist VV with 53, 41 and 24 seats respectively, may easily form a new coalition government in the 200-seat parliament.

The CSSD with 56 seats and the Communists who kept their 26 seats will remain as opposition parties.

Petr Holub, a political analyst, said the prime minister will be nominated by the ODS.

The CSSD won the elections and got most of the seats, but their chances to form a government with the centrist VV and tacit support of Communists are slim. It is widely expected that the VV would not enter into any coalition backed by the Communists.

Political experts said the centrist VV has become a "king-maker," as any future coalition will probably depend on the support of its deputies. Their votes will be decisive in future parliamentary battles between left and right wings.

Though it may be comparatively easy to form a new government now, it may not be so easy to rule in the future, analysts said.

All political powers of former coalition suffered big losses. The ODS and the KDU-CSL lost more than 40 percent of voters, the SZ even two thirds of voters and almost disappeared from the political scene. The CSSD lost one third of the votes.

Zeman's rival left-wing party attracted more than four percent of the CSSD voters, which is not enough to get a seat in the lower house, but enough to hurt the CSSD badly.

The CSSD's chairman Jiri Paroubek, who was ambitious to become the next prime minister, has announced that he would resign soon. Many influential members of his party blamed him over the loss of seats.

Source: Xinhua


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