The Czech election has apparently ended in dead heat, with a hung parliament on the cards if the preliminary official outcome is confirmed.
Earlier prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said he might contest results which initially showed he had lost. “The election law entitles one to file a motion to invalidate the polls. We will check if there are grounds to file such a complaint with the Supreme Administrative Court,” he told reporters. He denounced what he described as “slanderous attacks” on him in the run-up to the vote.
But opposition leader Mirek Topolanek was claiming victory: “I want to thank all those electors who turned out to vote. We have won, with our best result since 1992. All we need now is the final count.” Declared results show centre-right parties and their centre-left rivals winningequal blocs of 100 seats in parliament.
The Greens put in a strong showing. Leader Martin Bursik said: “I am very pleased as the Greens have now obtained representation in parliament. This is the first time a party has made such a breakthrough, and it is the first time it has happened in a former Communist country.”
Predictions were that either the opposition Civic Democrats would form a government with the centrist Christian Democrats and the Greens, or that the outgoing Social Democrats would team up with the Communists. But the deadlock means neither of those coalitions would have a majority.