Social Democrats say they will not enter a coalition with centre-right parties

24-07-2006

A meeting between representatives of the would-be coalition between the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens, and leading members of the Social Democratic Party has brought no end to the ongoing political deadlock. The Social Democrats refused to formally enter the coalition government, meaning the three-party coalition remains one seat short of a majority. Civic Democratic Party chairman Mirek Topolanek says that the goal now is to establish guidelines by which the Social Democrats would tolerate the three-party coalition, and to set these conditions in writing. Talks between the political leaders are expected to continue this week, with Tuesday's meetings focusing on economic issues and decreasing the unemployment rate.

A fifth attempt to elect a new chairman of the lower house is also set for Friday, and Social Democrat Lubomir Zaoralek is expected to stand for the position.