Social Democrats prepare to negotiate

Meanwhile, the Social Democrat leader Vladimir Spidla, who is positioned to become the country's next prime minister, is preparing for talks with potential coalition partners. Mr. Spidla has ruled out a coalition with both the Civic Democrats and the Communists, saying that he would first talk to the leaders of the centre-right Coalition. A governing coalition between the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union is seen as the most likely set-up although it would command only a slim one-vote majority in Parliament. If these talks fail, the Social Democrat leader has said he is not ruling out a minority government with the support of one or more parliamentary parties.