Czech leaders to change constitution for November poll

Czech political parties have agreed on moves to change the constitution to allow an early election in November.

Czech leaders to change constitution for November poll

Czech political parties have agreed on moves to change the constitution to allow an early election in November, circumventing a court injunction that threatens a planned poll on Oct. 9-10.

The central European country was thrown into political chaos after the Constitutional Court last week suspended the election, pending a ruling on a complaint against the vote by an independent deputy.

The parties agreed late on Monday to change the constitution in a way that will allow the lower house of parliament to dissolve itself, permitting a new election regardless of the court proceedings. Parliament is to start debate on this in a fast-track procedure on Tuesday.

Elections in the Czech Republic are traditionally held on Friday and Saturday, and politicians have mentioned Nov. 6-7 as the possible new election dates.

An early poll had been called for October after a no-confidence vote brought down the centre-right cabinet in March. The country has since been run by an interim government under Prime Minister Jan Fischer.

Monday's agreement came after the main leftist party, the Social Democrats, gave up demands to hold the election on or around the original date.

"The Social Democrats, while stressing the possible negative impact of moving the election to early November, accepts the opinion of the other political parties," Chairman Jiri Paroubek said in a statement.

A delay in the election means the new parliament will probably not have time to approve the 2010 budget, leading to a period with a provisional budget early next year.

Under Czech law, provisional budget limits overall spending to the levels of the previous year.

The election might still be held on the original date if the Constitutional Court rules quickly to throw out the deputy's complaint. The court meets on Thursday but it was not clear if a ruling could be expected then.


Reuters

Last Mod: 08 Eylül 2009, 16:18
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