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Romanian Government Falls, Czech Cabinet Survives

The center-right cabinet of Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas has survived a vote of no-confidence in parliament.
The leader of Romania's Socialist Party has been charged with forming a new government, hours after the opposition toppled the cabinet of Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu.

Victor Ponta was the only candidate for the post during evening hour talks between party leaders and President Traian Basescu who spoke to the press afterwards.

"There is only one name which I heard during the consultation [with parliament parties], and this is Victor Ponta. So, I asked him to come to Cotroceni (the presidential palace) and I gave him the task to form a new government," the Romanian president said.

Ponta must draft a governing program, the cabinet lineup and ask parliament for backing within 10 days.

"I'm putting people into place [in my work as PM] first of all from the Social Democrat Union, and all other parliamentarians who will understand and sustain this government with its limited mandate until the elections in November," Ponta said.

The 39-year-old Ponta is a change of guard for his Social Democrat party, founded chiefly by former communists and now the dominant force in the opposition Social Liberal Union.

It is the second change of government in an election year, with polls due in November. Analysts say Ponta is almost certain to be backed by the majority parliament and govern until then.

Ungureanu took over just three months ago when his predecessor, Emil Boc, resigned amid widespread protests at his austerity measures.

Meanwhile in the Czech Republic, the center-right cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Necas has survived a vote of no-confidence in parliament.

The vote comes a week after about 90,000 Czechs protested against austerity and corruption in one of the biggest anti-government rallies since the end of communism in 1989.

Based on AP and Reuters reporting

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