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Czech Parliament OKs minority government

The Czech parliament approved on July 25 a new minority coalition government led by Vaclav Klaus after the opposition Social Democrats (ČSSD) walked out, enabling the coalition deputies to pass the vote of confidence. The vote in the 200- member Parliament was 98-40. During a three-day debate preceding the vote, ČSSD did not reveal whether it would support the government. President Vaclav Havel, in a speech to the parliament on July 23, asked for support from the opposition parties. ČSSD chairman Miloš Zeman told Parliament on July 23 that he wanted to vote against the government but changed his mind after hearing a speech by the leader of the extreme-right Republican Party, Miroslav Sládek. Sládek attacked the Roma minority; Zeman noted that Sládek's speech united moderate parties.

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