Czech Republic

Czech Parliament Votes to Dissolve

New elections could give country's Communist Party some power

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The Czech parliament voted on Tuesday to dissolve itself, triggering an early election that could hand the Communist Party a share in power for the first time since a bloodless revolution ended the party's totalitarian rule two decades ago.

Opinion polls show that the center-left Social Democrats will be the biggest party, but they will need support from other groups to govern and the leader of the party said he would talk to the Communists about forming a partnership.

In the eyes of many people in the country of 10 million people, the Communists are linked to 41 years of repression. But by being out of power for so long, the party has escaped the taint of sleaze that has tarnished the governments that took over from it.