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Czech cabinet to face confidence vote

Prague - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka's new centre-left government will face a parliamentary vote of confidence on February 18 after taking power with a mandate to boost an economy recovering from recession.

Under Czech law, governments must call a confidence vote within 30 days of taking office. Lawmakers approved the date of the vote at the opening of a new lower house session on Tuesday.

Czech President Milos Zeman (front L) speaks with newly appointed Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (R), as members of the new government pose for a group photo after the cabinet's inauguration at Prague Castle in Prague. REUTERS/David W Cerny. Credit: REUTERS

President Milos Zeman appointed the new cabinet last Wednesday, ending a seven-month power vacuum that has hampered policymaking in the central European country.

The three-party ruling coalition - made up of Sobotka's Social Democrats, centrist movement ANO and the Christian Democrats - holds 111 of 200 seats in the lower house, ensuring its smooth passage through the confidence vote.

Sobotka's government plans to ease some fiscal restrictions imposed by a former centre-right cabinet and bring the country closer to the euro zone.

It has taken over from a caretaker administration which had governed the country since the centre-right cabinet collapsed last June in a sleaze scandal.

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