PM Spidla under pressure to call for vote of confidence after EU election loss
Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has said he will call for a vote of confidence among party members in his leadership after the "unfortunate" results of the country's first-ever European parliamentary elections, held this weekend. If held, it would be the fourth such vote of confidence that has been taken on the present government. The governing coalition led by Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla was soundly defeated in the EU elections; his party, the centre-left Social Democrats, placed fifth overall, capturing only 8.8 percent of the vote. Altogether the parties that make up the governing coalition - which has a razor thin majority of one in the lower house of the Czech parliament - won just 20 percent of the vote in the European parliamentary elections. The vice chairman of Mr. Spidla's party, Stanislav Gross, who is also the Czech Interior Minister, has said the government could not "ignore" the results and should "reshuffle" the Cabinet in response. Members of the main opposition party, the centre-right Civic Democrats, which placed first in the EU elections with 30 percent of the vote, have said a vote of confidence should be held in parliament next Tuesday, when the Czech legislature reconvenes.