Czech leftist opposition leads in early election

Associated Press
Social Democratic chairman Bohuslav Sobotka addresses media as the polling station for the early general elections close in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. Words in background read: We will enforce a well functioning state. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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PRAGUE (AP) — Partial results in the Czech Republic's early parliamentary election show the leftist opposition is leading in the vote, which was called to end a political crisis triggered by the center-right government's collapse.

With just over 30 percent of all polling stations counted Saturday, the Social Democrats have 22.14 percent of the vote, while the new centrist ANO (YES) movement is second with 18.66 and the Communists are third with 16.95.

Prime Minister Petr Necas' center-right coalition broke down in June after a whirlwind of allegations about corruption and marital infidelity.

As polls have indicated, voters are punishing the previous government for the scandals and austerity measures.

Parliament's lower house dominates the legislative process, and the leader of its strongest party is generally asked to try to form a new government.

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