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Czechs seek new PM amid corruption scandal

Interview

Czech President Milos Zeman started talks with political leaders Friday to find a new prime minister after a corruption scandal toppled the government, with a snap election still possible. He first met with the right-wing Civic Democrats (ODS) of toppled prime minister Petr Necas, now a caretaker leader, before talks with the left-wing opposition Social Democrats and Communists on Saturday. The Social Democrats repeated they were only in favor of early elections as a solution and were against a caretaker government or a continuation of the centre-right coalition under a new prime minister, Radio Praha reported. In power since July 2010, Necas stepped down last Monday after his chief of staff and alleged lover was indicted for abuse of power and graft. The ODS and its rightwing TOP 09 allies have endorsed parliament Speaker Miroslava Nemcova to replace Necas and become the first woman ever to lead the Czech government. Opinion surveys show that support for the ODS has tumbled to an all-time low and suggest that the Social Democrats and Communists would sweep an early election.

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