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NEWS FROM THE OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Parties work out Czech minority government

The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) of Václav Klaus, the Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) of Jan Kalvoda, and the Christian Democratic Union (KDU) of Josef Lux reached an agreement on June 26 on the division of posts in a new minority government and the text of their coalition agreement, Czech media reported. The future government, led by Klaus, will have 16 members; the ODS will hold eight portfolios, including the finance, foreign affairs, and internal affairs ministries. The KDU will get, among others, defense and regional development ministries, while the ODA will be responsible for justice, trade and industry. The coalition agreement was officially signed on June 27.

Meanwhile, Miloš Zeman, leader of the Social Democratic party (ČSSD), which ran against Klaus's ODS in the elections, was elected chairman of the Czech Parliament's lower chamber on June 27, Czech media reported. Zeman's election was part of a deal under which in return for Zeman's election, ČSSD will support a minority government formed by ODS, KDU and ODA. The three parties officially signed a coalition agreement that appears to have incorporated many of ČSSD's policy demands.

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The Sme daily celebrates 25 years since its founding. It is of immense importance that it remains independent and free, writes its editor-in-chief.