Talks to form Czech government to start soon

  • Associated Press
  • October 30, 2013 - 7:45 AM

PRAGUE — The leader of the party that finished first in last week's parliamentary election in the Czech Republic says talks aimed at forming a coalition government will kick off next month.

The left-wing Social Democrats emerged as the strongest party, winning 50 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament. The new centrist ANO (YES) movement was second, with 47 seats.

The vote was called to end a political crisis triggered by a center-right government's collapse.

Social Democratic leader Bohuslav Sobotka said Wednesday that his party's central executive committee will first confirm his leadership at a Nov. 10 meeting before he opens talks with ANO and the Christian Democrats, who won 14 seats.

Sobotka has faced calls to resign because his party won 20.45 percent of the vote, record low.

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