Early elections beckon in Czech Republic as another government falls

Early elections beckon in Czech Republic as another government falls
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The Czech cabinet headed by Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok has resigned amid an ongoing power struggle between President Milos Zeman and political parties.

The president only appointed his left-wing ally as leader in June after the previous centre-right government collapsed following a spying and bribery scandal.

To many observers the events are no surprise: the unelected cabinet had the support of neither the outgoing centre-right coalition nor the left-wing opposition.

The news of another government downfall paves the way for early elections, possibly in October.

The speaker of the Senate said the lower house of parliament would meet soon to dissolve itself. The president would then call a national ballot within 60 days.

The government’s fall comes after it lost a parliamentary confidence vote last week.

It will stay on temporarily until a new government can be formed.

Zeman’s appointment of his own economic advisor to head a cabinet of technocrats drew accusations from the outgoing finance minister that he was becoming “Putinesque” in wanting to develop a semi-presidential system.

“This is the beginning of an era in which President Zeman is exerting increasing influence over the political parties. Over the past two months he’s acted as if he wants to grab more power for himself,” said political analyst Jindrich Sidlo.

The upheaval has paralysed policymaking as the economy struggles out of recession.

Whoever wins an autumn election will form the third government since the president took office just last March, in what is an increasingly turbulent world of Czech politics.

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