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Czechs leftists back business over human rights ahead of election

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic should not harm its business relations with Russia and China by stressing human rights concerns, the country's prospective finance minister said on Tuesday. For most of the past two decades, foreign policy in the NATO and EU member country had a strong human rights aspect, thanks to the first post-communist President Vaclav Havel, himself a political prisoner when Prague was part of the Soviet bloc.

Czech parliament rejects early election plan

By Robert Muller PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech lower house of parliament rejected a motion on Wednesday to dissolve itself and force an early election in September, setting up more months of political uncertainty. The motion was proposed by the center-left Social Democrats after leftist President Milos Zeman picked his long-time ally, Jiri Rusnok, last month to lead a new government against the will of the main political parties.

New Czech PM starts picking ministers, parties cry foul

By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE (Reuters) - The new Czech prime minister picked ministers for his cabinet on Thursday who are certain to widen a rift between parliament and the executive that could to cripple policymaking for months. Jiri Rusnok was appointed on Tuesday by the leftist president, Milos Zeman, to form a technocrat cabinet despite protests from both the outgoing center-right coalition and the opposition Social Democrats.

New Czech PM will not win confidence vote: outgoing party

PRAGUE (Reuters) - New Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok's cabinet has no chance of winning a vote of confidence in parliament, Miroslav Kalousek, deputy leader of the TOP09 party from the outgoing ruling coalition, said on Tuesday. President Milos Zeman appointed economist Rusnok as prime minister on Tuesday to replace Petr Necas, who resigned last week in a bribery and spying scandal that involved his close aide. (Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Writing by Jason Hovet)

Czech coalition partner backs Nemcova as PM candidate

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The junior party in the ruling Czech coalition, TOP09, backed a plan on Friday to nominate parliament speaker Miroslava Nemcova as the new prime minister following the resignation of Petr Necas in a spying and bribery scandal. President Milos Zeman, a leftist who has criticized the outgoing cabinet, started meetings with party heads on Friday to find a new government. The president has the sole right to appoint a prime minister. Zeman has not said if he will accept Nemcova or pick a prime minister of his choice.

Czech ruling party backs speaker to be first woman PM

By Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet PRAGUE (Reuters) - The ruling Czech Civic Democrats have proposed lower house speaker Miroslava Nemcova as the next prime minister following the resignation of Petr Necas in a corruption scandal, the party said on Wednesday. The popular Nemcova, 60, would be the Central European country's first woman prime minister, but the center-right party needs the consent of coalition partners and President Milos Zeman to have her lead the cabinet.

Czech rightwing party proposes woman for PM

The Czech right-wing Civic Democrats (ODS) party on Wednesday proposed parliament speaker Miroslava Nemcova for the post of prime minister following the resignation of Petr Necas amid a graft scandal. If approved by coalition partners, President Milos Zeman and the parliament, Nemcova, 60, will become the first woman heading the Czech government in history. "The ODS considers Miroslava Nemcova an experienced politician with a relevant moral and political credit... a person who is able to represent our country abroad," acting ODS chairman Martin Kuba told reporters.

Czech PM steps down over graft, spying scandal

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas resigned on Monday over a bribery and spying scandal involving his top aide and alleged lover that has plunged the recession-hit EU state into a fresh political crisis. "Mr President, in line with the constitution... I resign," he told President Milos Zeman, who called for talks with political parties to discuss the government's future. Zeman asked the rightwing Necas, who has been in office for three years at the head of a shaky coalition government, to stay on as caretaker leader until a new administration is named.

Czech PM Necas: fiscal hawk turned unlucky lover

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas, who stepped down on Monday, focussed on fighting corruption but ironically it was a graft scandal -- combined with an alleged love affair -- that put a sudden end to his career. The bespectacled 48-year-old physicist, in office since July 2010, paid dearly for trusting Jana Nagyova, his chief of staff and alleged lover who was indicted on Friday on charges of bribery and complicity in abuse of power. Police said she had asked military spies to tail Necas's estranged wife Radka.

Czech ruling party seeks replacement for ousted PM

By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic's main ruling party was due to meet on Monday to search for a candidate to succeed Prime Minister Petr Necas who quit on Sunday after a spying and bribery scandal that centered on his closest aide. Necas was due to formally hand in his resignation to President Milos Zeman on Monday afternoon, starting the formal process of replacing the entire center-right cabinet which fell automatically with the prime minister.
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