Havel meets political leaders

In the wake of the country's two day parliamentary elections President Havel has been meeting with political leaders to discuss the formation of a new government. In the course of Sunday the President met with the leader of the Social Democrats, Vladimir Spidla, whose party won over 30% of the vote, the head of the Civic Democrats Vaclav Klaus who suffered a stinging defeat at the hands of the Social Democrats getting only 23% , and the leaders of the Coalition grouping, made up of the centrist Christian Democrats and the liberal Freedom Union, which did worse than expected with just over 14% of the vote. Although the Communist Party did unexpectedly well in the elections placing third with over 18 % of the vote the President has refused to meet with them on the grounds that they do not belong among the democratic forces in Parliament.

The President said he would officially ask one of the party leaders to begin talks on putting together the country's next Cabinet on Monday. Mr. Havel admitted that, under the circumstances, he personally favored a coalition between the Social Democrats and the two centre-right Coalition parties.