The prime minister of the Czech Republic, Jiri Paroubek, has officially resigned, ending a political stalemate that has lasted two months. Parliament had been deadlocked since elections in June that gave the right and the left the same number of seats.
Paroubek has proposed that his rightist rivals form a minority government for two years, in exchange for his party taking key parliamentary jobs. There has been a lukewarm response to that idea from the man named as new prime minister, the rightist Mirek Topolanek. He must now try to form a government, but he faces a tough job because of the tight election results. Paroubek was able to resign after a new speaker of the lower house was elected on Monday, Miloslav Vlcek.