November 22, 2017 / 4:02 PM / in a year

Czech parliament picks speaker, opens way for new prime minister

A general view of the Czech Parliament during a parliamentary session in Prague, Czech Republic November 22, 2017. REUTERS/David W Cerny

PRAGUE (Reuters) - The newly-elected Czech lower house of parliament on Wednesday picked a speaker from the biggest party ANO, a source in the voting committee said, opening the way for the government to resign and ANO chief Andrej Babis to become prime minister.

Babis, whose ANO party won the October election by a large margin on pledges to uproot corruption and streamline functioning of the state, has been asked by President Milos Zeman to form a government but has so far failed to find majority support.

Electing the speaker is one of the constitutional conditions for the parliament to conclude its first session. After that, the outgoing government — led by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka — resigns, and a new prime minister and eventually a full cabinet can be appointed.

Reporting by Robert Muller

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