published: 16.08.2013, 12:21 | updated: 16.08.2013 12:24:01
Prague - The Social Democrats (CSSD) and the conservative TOP 09 would welcome if the planned Czech early elections were held already in October because this could avoid a stopgap budget or at least minimise the period without a standard budget, heads of the CSSD and TOP 09 MPs said today.
The Chamber of Deputies will open a discussion on its possible dissolution as a path towards an early general election today and it will probably take a vote on it on Tuesday. Along with the Communists (KSCM), the CSSD and TOP 09 proposed this step after the interim government of Jiri Rusnok lost a confidence vote last week.
President Milos Zeman said in a press interview today that the possible early elections might be organised on October 25-26.
CSSD lower house group head Jeronym Tejc said the elections should be held as soon as possible also because of the passage of the next year´s state budget.
Tejc said he believes the 2014 budget may be passed by the end of the year or possibly in January.
He noted that it would depend on how long the negotiations about a new government produced by the early elections were going to take.
TOP 09 lower house group head Petr Gazdik said TOP 09 welcomed the date mentioned by Zeman.
It is the president who sets the election date.
But Gazdik and Tejc showed concern about a lower turnout due to the proposed date.
The given weekend will be longer as Monday, October 28, is a national holiday and Czech children do not go to school on October 29-30. This may reduce the number of people who will cast their votes on Friday afternoon or on Saturday because families may go on vacation.
"We believe we will be able to explain the right-wing voters that they should leave for the longer weekend only after they cast their votes," Gazdik said.
Political analysts shared the view that the date might result in a lower turnout.
Analyst Daniel Kunstat noted that there seems to be no other suitable date because the weekend before is too soon for the preparations for the elections and the first weekend in November might cause problems with the next year´s budget.
According to analyst Jan Hezmann, Zeman wants to influence the election result by this date.
Herzmann said especially young and middle-aged well-off people from towns would leave for the weekend, which might take away voters of the Civic Democrats (ODS), TOP 09 and the Pirate Party.
But analyst Tomas Lebeda said those who want to vote can do so before leaving as the polling stations would open at 14:00 on Friday.
Lebeda said he considers it "very odd" that Zeman announced the possible election date in an interview with Halo noviny, a daily closely linked to the KSCM.
"This was an expression of support to the Communist Party," Kunstat said about Zeman´s step.
He said Zeman in this way thanked the KSCM for its positive attitude to him in the direct presidential election in January and for its support to the interim government of Jiri Rusnok in the confidence vote last week.
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