Czech president sees election likely in late May
Czech President Klaus said this year's election will be held as close as possible to the end of the parliamentary term.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus said on Monday this year's election will be held as close as possible to the end of the parliamentary term, making the last weekend in May the most likely date.
The EU member country is run by an interim government and politicians hope the vote will usher in a cabinet with a mandate to tackle the economic downturn and growing state debt.
Klaus said he did not want to bring the election forward, preferring to stick as close as possible to the traditional mid-year date.
"We have no reason to push forward the election term ... therefore we assume that the election should take place at the farthest possible date," he said after meeting Prime Minister Jan Fischer for a traditional New Year lunch at the presidential residence in Lany, outside Prague.
The president is responsible for setting the election date and must choose a Friday and Saturday within the month preceding the end of parliament's regular term, in this case June 3.
This makes May 28 and 29 the likely dates for the two-day ballot and means the new government, which may take weeks or months to form, will have less time to prepare the 2011 budget than if voting were held a few weeks earlier.
The vote could end a political crisis which started with the collapse of a minority centre-right government in March, during the country's EU presidency in the first half of the year.
Attempts to hold an early election were blocked by a court decision and a lack of consensus among political parties, keeping Fischer in office and delaying policy decisions on tax and spending reforms needed to cut the deficit.
Neither party is expected to win enough votes for a majority in parliament and will have to join forces with other parties, or possibly with its main rival, to create a government.
The new cabinet is expected to take steps to prepare the country for adoption of the euro but the move is unlikely before the next election in 2014.
Reuters Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2010, 23:47