published: 20.08.2013, 18:58 | updated: 20.08.2013 18:59:25
Prague - The Social Democrats (CSSD) are very happy that the lower house of Czech parliament so clearly agreed on its dissolution today and all should respect the decision, their leader Bohuslav Sobotka said after the vote.
Nearly all of the lawmakers present, 140, voted in support of the dissolution, while 120 was the required minimum support. The centre-right Civic Democrats (ODS) walked out of the room before the vote. Seven lawmakers voted against the dissolution, including the lower house chairwoman Miroslava Nemcova (ODS).
The lower house´s dissolution was proposed by the CSSD, the Communists (KSCM) and the right-wing TOP 09.
TOP 09 and the KSCM welcomed the dissolution as the only way to end the political crisis. Public Affairs (VV) appreciated it, too.
But the ODS believes that the dissolution is no solution to the current crisis.
The country is ruled by the interim government of Jiri Rusnok that did not win the lower house´s support and neither the left-wing nor the right-wing parties command a majority in the house.
Sobotka today called on President Milos Zeman to organise a meeting with the heads of the parties in parliament as soon as possible to set the date of early elections.
Zeman´s spokeswoman Hana Burianova said Zeman would probably like to agree on the date of this meeting on Wednesday.
According to earlier information, the meeting may take place on Friday.
President Zeman is to confirm the dissolution now.
TOP 09 deputy chairman Miroslav Kalousek said he expects Zeman to do so without protractions. An early election seems to be the only way out, Kalousek said.
Sobotka recalled that the CSSD would like the elections to be held soon.
He said October 25-26, which Zeman had mentioned as the possible election date, seemed realistic to the CSSD.
Communist chairman Vojtech Filip also said he believes Zeman would have talks with party leaders and early elections would be held at the last October weekend.
Sobotka said the ODS created the false impression during the parliamentary discussion preceding the vote that the dissolution would lead to "the end of the world."
ODS deputy head Nemcova said she believes the lawmakers today made a mistake that "nobody can see now and they will see it only when it is too late."
Nemcova said the ODS does not fear early elections.
Opinion polls indicate that the popularity of the ODS has been going down for some time. The ODS does not seem to be the right-wing leader anymore, being replaced by TOP 09.
Kalousek recalled that the former centre-right bloc failed to have a majority in the lower house because two ODS lawmakers and one Liberal Democrat (LIDEM) violated the agreement on voting against Rusnok´s interim government.
Sobotka said it is good that the citizens will be able to decide on the future in the forthcoming election.
The CSSD has been the most popular party in the Czech Republic for a long time.
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