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Europe

Czech Republic appoints new, conservative prime minister

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has appointed Petr Necas, the leader of a major conservative party, as the country's new prime minister. Necas will lead a center-right coalition that plans to rein in the country's debt.

Petr Necas, Chairman and leader of Czech Civic Democratic Party, ODS

Necas' main task will be producing a budget for 2011

One month after parliamentary elections, Czech President Vaclav Klaus has named Petr Necas as the country's new president.

"I am convinced the government is in the right hands. I believe you will manage to put a cabinet together in a short time," Klaus told Necas in the capital, Prague on Monday.

The appointment brings the Czech Republic one step closer to formation of a new center-right government.

Necas, 45, heads the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), which emerged as the strongest party from the May election. It is now in coalition talks with the conservative TOP 09 and the populist Public Affairs party.

Necas said he aimed to complete the coalition deal by July 7 and have the cabinet in place by the middle of July. Once the government is appointed, it has 30 days to pass a confidence vote in the parliament's lower house.

The new cabinet is expected to take measures aimed at halting the growth of debt, fighting corruption, supporting the economy and boosting the rule of law.

The new government is to replace a caretaker government led by Jan Fischer, which has ruled the Czech Republic for the past 14 months.

Author: Gabriel Borrud (AP/dpa)
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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