Civic Democratic cabinet approves governing program proposal

The Civic Democratic cabinet led by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has emerged from its Wednesday session with an approved policy statement ahead of the vote of confidence which takes place October 3. Cabinet members say that the governing program proposal is based on the former concept discussed during the immediate post-election coalition talks. Mr. Topolanek says that he'll seek the support of all parties in the lower house, with the exception of the Communists. He intends to pitch the cabinet's policy program to the parliamentary clubs of the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Greens before the October 3rd vote. Thus far, none of the parties have openly declared support for the Civic Democratic minority cabinet. Mr. Topolanek's policy statement commits the Civic Democrats to governing only until June 2007, at which time early elections would be held. The cabinet needs 101 votes to win support, and the Civic Democrats hold 81 seats in the lower house.

Meanwhile, at its Wednesday session the Civic Democratic cabinet also agreed to propose that the lower house delay two bills due to become law in January 2007. The new laws, previously approved by the former Social Democratic government this past spring, concern labour and health issues and have been a source of dispute between the two largest parties.