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Czech Republic goes to the polls

Czech Republic goes to the polls
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The Czech Republic has been voting in a closely fought two-day general election against the backdrop of a looming economic crisis.

Voters will have to decide which party they think will be best able to sort out the country’s growing budget deficit.

Civic Democrat leader Petr Necas says his right wing party are willing and able to make the tough cuts needed to reverse the country’s fortunes.

He’s got a fight on his hands however with the rival Social Democrats currently leading opinion polls.

Leader Jiri Paroubek has won support among elderly voters with his election promise of increased pension benefits.

However the left wing party looks almost certain to fall short of the majority it needs.

That could lead to a hung parliament and months of political wrangling at a time when the country desperately needs a strong government to tackle issues like corruption, the economy and pension reform.

The new cabinet will replace the current interim government which has been in power since a centre right administration led by the Civic Democrats collapsed in March 2009.

A result is expected soon after polls close on Saturday afternoon.