Cracks appear in parties’ support for new mandate for interim government

Politicians have begun responding to Prime Minister Jan Fischer’s call to present their views on prolonging the interim government’s mandate. Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolánek said his party’s support would be contingent upon the government linking their budget proposal for a reduced deficit to a vote of confidence. Mr Fischer has rejected that condition and instead wants the package read as emergency legislation next week. Meanwhile, support for the interim government sharply divided the Christian Democratic Party on Thursday. Chairman Cyril Svoboda said the party “had no reason” to endorse the government’s mandate on the grounds that it has enough support without the Christian Democrats. He later withdrew the comment.