Early elections expected after Czech PM loses confidence vote

Early elections expected after Czech PM loses confidence vote
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Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok is to resign after losing a confidence vote.

Only 93 members of parliament out of 193 backed him and his cabinet.

An ally of President Milos Zeman, left-leaning Rusnok was appointed in June following the resignation of former Prime Minister Petr Necas and the collapse of his centre-right coalition.

By appointing one of his friends and a fellow leftist, President Zeman has been accused of trying to consolidate his power. Putting Rusnok in the top job caused a stand-off between the president and the centre-right parties that has crippled policymaking since June.

It was three centre-right parties that gathered enough support to force the confidence vote.

Rusnok will likely stay in power pending discussions among parties on holding early elections.

Upon defeat, Rusnok said: “I think this result is positive, as far as further political development in our country is concerned. It will lead to the dissolution of the parliament.”

Rusnok does not belong to any political party and had worked as a banker before becoming prime minister.

He is one of a few allies the president has placed into government jobs, angering some who accuse Zeman of abusing his presidential authority.

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