Prague: The Czech government survived a parliamentary vote of no-confidence brought by the opposition, which was angered by a presidential amnesty.
The left-wing opposition fell nine votes short of the 101 needed to dismiss the center-right government, with only 92 legislators voting in favour of the motion while 97 opposed it.
It was the fifth such no-confidence vote the coalition government has survived since taking power in 2010. To mark the country's 20th anniversary of independence on Jan 1, Vaclav Klaus used a traditional tool of Czech presidents and ordered the release of about 6,000 inmates serving short prison terms.
As part of his pardon, Klaus also stopped court proceedings in several high-profile long-term fraud cases, which angered many Czechs.
The opposition said the government is also to blame because Prime Minister Petr Necas had to co-sign the amnesty. Necas said it was just a formal act.
The government was split over the issue. Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who runs for president in next week's presidential runoff election, walked out of the vote in protest, saying Necas failed to inform him about the amnesty. Thirty lawmakers from Parliament's upper house have challenged the amnesty at the Constitutional Court.


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