Czech president satisfied with interim government deal

Czech president satisfied with interim government deal Prague - Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Monday that he is happy with a deal among rival political parties on a caretaker government led by statistician Jan Fischer that would complete the Czech Republic's presidency of the European Union ending June 30.

Klaus, who is to appoint the next premier, said in a Radio Cesko interview that he is "in principle" satisfied with the deal on the interim technocrat cabinet that would take the country to early elections before October 15.

Leaders of four of the five parties in parliament's lower house, excluding the opposition Communists whose participation in government has been a taboo since communism fell 20 years ago, agreed on the new caretaker premier, Czech Statistics Office chief Fischer, 58, late on Sunday.

Fischer would be a newcomer to the world of top-level politics, following a statistics career mostly in public sector and academia. The parties do not want Klaus to appoint him before May 9.

The agreement was forged ten days after outgoing Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek's three-party center-right cabinet resigned on March 26, following a lost no-confidence vote two days earlier in parliament.

Social Democratic leader Jiri Paroubek said that the new cabinet would not feature any of the current ministers.

The party leaders also agreed to force snap polls by passing a bill in lower house on cutting its four-year term. The majority of 120 lawmakers in the 200-seat chamber is needed to approve the legislation. (dpa)