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STAN to decide on election coalition with KDU-ČSL next week

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Prague, July 18 (CTK) – The Czech opposition Mayors and Independents (STAN) movement will decide on whether to replace the election coalition of the STAN and the government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) with STAN candidates running on KDU-CSL lists next week, STAN head Petr Gazdik told CTK today.

Gazdik, Chamber of Deputies deputy chairman, was reacting to a proposal the KDU-CSL made today.

He said he still trusts the coalition deal the two parties signed ahead of the October 20-21 general election.

Earlier today, KDU-CSL chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek said his party’s leadership proposed that STAN election candidates run on the KDU-CSL’s lists rather than in a two-party coalition.

The parliamentary threshold for such a coalition is 10 percent, twice as high as for a single party, and the STAN/KDU-CSL coalition might fail to cross it, Belobradek indicated.

He said the KDU-CSL does not want to risk the loss of a large number of votes in case the two-party coalition failed to enter parliament.

Gazdik said STAN is “sorry about the proposal, since we trust the coalition.”

“It has been nine months of hard work and our effort to bring a new quality to the Czech political scene,” Gazdik said, referring to recent negotiations and cooperation between the two parties.

“Nevertheless, we respect the KDU-CSL’s decision. The STAN national committee will decide on it next Tuesday,” Gazdik said.

The KDU-CSL and STAN signed an election coalition agreement in April.

The latest opinion polls have indicated that the two-party coalition might not reach the required 10 percent of the vote.

“The resolution was motivated by responsibility for the election result and especially the post-election developments in the Czech Republic. We do not want to risk the possible rule of one party,” Belobradek said after a meeting of the KDU-CSL national committee today.

He said neither the joint lists of candidates nor the way of financing the two parties’ campaign would change.

The KDU-CSL expects that as a result of this formal change, both parties’ representatives will be sure of entering the Chamber of Deputies, Belobradek said.

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