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Leftward Swing Seen As Czechs Vote


The image of Russian President Vladimir Putin was used by anticommunist activists in Prague to dissuade voters from voting for the Communist Party.

The image of Russian President Vladimir Putin was used by anticommunist activists in Prague to dissuade voters from voting for the Communist Party.

Voters in the Czech Republic went to the polls on October 25 in a parliamentary election expected to shift the nation to the political left.

The early election, which will last for two days, was called after the center-right government, which had pursued unpopular austerity measures, collapsed in June amid allegations of corruption.

Opinion polls show the Social Democrats, led by former minister Bohuslav Sobotka, likely to win the most parliamentary seats, setting the stage for a return to power in the European Union and NATO member state.

However, polls indicate the party will likely need a coalition partner.

The Social Democrats have suggested they could be open to a new government supported by the Communist Party, which is expected to finish second. The communists have not been in power since they were ousted in the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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