* Early election expected to be called for Oct. 25 and 26
* New government likely to be led by leftist Social
PRAGUE Aug 22 Czech President Milos Zeman will
formally dissolve the lower house of parliament on Aug. 28, his
spokeswoman said on Thursday, setting the stage for an early
election that could hand power to a leftist, pro-European
The election is expected to be called for Oct. 25 and 26.
Zeman will announce the election date at a news conference on
Friday, his spokeswoman Hana Burianova said.
The parliament voted on Tuesday to disband and the president
must call an early election within 60 days of the formal
Political turmoil has crippled policy-making since June when
the centre-right cabinet of Prime Minister Petr Necas collapsed
amid a corruption and spying scandal.
Opinion polls show that the centre-left, pro-European Social
Democrats will be the biggest party in the new parliament, whose
policies include a plan to tax power utilities, telecoms and
banks and increase taxes for high earners while boosting
investment in infrastructure, housing and ecological projects.
Their leader told Reuters this week the Social Democrats
could rule in a single-party minority government, supported by
the Communist Party or other, smaller parties in parliament.
It would be the first time since the 1989 Velvet Revolution
that the Communist party, the largely unreformed heirs of the
totalitarian rulers under the Soviet bloc, could have a direct
impact on government policies.