Outgoing PM to push for early elections in 2008

Outgoing Social Democrat prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, said on Sunday that he intended to press for early elections to the lower house in 2008, saying that he did not want to allow a minority Civic Democrat government to govern until 2009, when the Czech Republic will hold the presidency of the European Union. The chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, Mirek Topolanek, does not agree with the notion that the next government's mandate should end before the EU presidency term finishes in June 2009. Earlier, Mr Paroubek had expressed the opinion that early elections would not hurt the Czech Republic's success during the EU presidency rotation.