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Czech: Parliament Begins Confidence Debate


Prague, 10 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The lower house of the Czech parliament has begun a session to debate the fate of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's governing center-right coalition.

The deputy chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Jan Kasal, is quoted by the CTK news agency as saying that the session, which will debate a government request for a vote of confidence, will likely last late into the night.

Klaus's Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and its two junior coalition partners, the Civic Democratic Alliance and the Christian Democrats, hold just 100 votes in the 200-seat parliament. Christian Democrat party chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Josef Lux told parliament today his party is ready to support the government in the confidence vote as a declaration of trust in the cabinet's original program, as well as in its moves to change economic policy and stabilize the economy.

Since the confidence measure was brought by the government, a simple majority of members present is required and most analysts expect it will pass. If it does not, under the Czech constitution the cabinet will have to offer its resignation.
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