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Social Democratic MP Michal Pohanka, who on Wednesday announced his resignation from the ranks of the Social Democratic Party by email and went into hiding, returned to the lower house on Friday morning. Mr. Pohanka appeared in the lower house and met with Social Democratic leader Jiri Paroubek. According to Mr. Paroubek, the two men have cleared the air and Michal Pohanka will continue to vote in-line with Social Democrats on key issues of the party's program, even though he is no longer a party member.

Mr. Pohanka confirmed the position in an interview for the on-line server on Friday afternoon, but he specified that he and Mr. Paroubek did not discuss the issue of who the now-unaligned MP will support in a vote of confidence. Mr. Pohanka has not clarified is position on the issue for reporters either, saying only that he remains "an independent MP now." It is thus unclear whether the scales in the lower house will tip from the current 100 - 100 seat deadlock. Every vote now plays a decisive role in the 200 seat lower house which is equally divided between the right and left-wing parties. The Czech Republic has been without a stable government since elections in early June.

Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party is no longer insisting that Michal Pohanka give up his seat in the lower house, which he won as a Social Democratic candidate in the June elections. After meeting with Mr. Paroubek at the lower house on Friday morning, Mr. Pohanka did not stay for the day's proceedings in the house, and a Social Democratic spokesperson cited "security reasons" for his quick departure under police escort.