Czech government survives vote of no confidence | News | DW | 19.07.2012
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Czech government survives vote of no confidence

The Czech Republic's center-right government has survived a no-confidence vote, the fourth since it took office in 2010. In the debate, one minister was accused of blocking a probe into over-priced military aircraft.

epa02503931 The Czech Parliament debates before a no-confidence vote in Prague, Czech Republic, 21 December 2010. Lawmakers for a junior ruling partner in the Czech Republic_s three-party, centre-right government, will back the cabinet in a no confidence motion scheduled for later Tuesday, the party leader said. EPA/Matej Divizna

Parlament Tschechien Prag

Although the government's majority has dwindled following clashes within the ruling coalition, the opposition failed to win the vote of no confidece against the govenrment.

Opponents of the government, including the Social Democrats, Communists and some ex-government centrists, mustered 89 votes, well short of the 101 they would have needed for a majority in the 200-seat parliament.

Row linked to military purchase

The opposition had called on he government, led by Prime Minister Petrc Necas, to force Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek to resign over phone calls he made during an investigation into the purchase of army transport planes.

Kalousek has admitted to calling the investigators, but not to trying to influence the investigation into his party colleague and former defense minister Vlasta Parkanova.

Last week, investigators said Prague had paid 25 million euros too much for the four Spanish-made CASA planes.

The departure of Kalousek, the most influential figure in the junior coalition party, the conservative TOP09, would break up the ruling coalition.

The scandal is one of a series surrounding public procurement contracts, with surveys showing that corruption is one of Czech voters' biggest gripes.

rc/ipj (AP, AFP, Reuters)