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Czech President Havel Re-Nominated

December 10, 1997

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ President Vaclav Havel has been nominated by four parties for a second five-year term, a news agency reported Wednesday.

The 61-year-old president’s current term is ending as the Czech Republic faces a period of political instability unprecedented in its eight-year transition from communism.

The government of Premier Vaclav Klaus collapsed a week and a half ago in a financial scandal. Havel has given Christian Democrat Josef Lux the task of trying to put together a new government.

On Tuesday, the president blasted the outgoing government, saying it denied citizens a real voice and created the impression that it pays to lie and steal.

Neither Havel’s critique of the Klaus government nor his tenuous health after undergoing surgery for lung cancer a year ago seemed likely to seriously hurt his chances of re-election. Parliament will decide Jan. 20 whether to give him a second, and final, term.

Klaus and his backers labeled Havel’s criticism unfair. But deputies from Klaus’ Civic Democratic Party joined three other parties _ the Christian Democrats, the Civic Democratic Alliance, and the opposition Social Democrats _ in nominating Havel for another term, the CTK news agency reported.

Havel’s spokesman Ladislav Spacek said the president accepted the nomination, CTK reported.

Havel first served as president of Czechoslovakia after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, but stepped down shortly before the country split in two nearly five years ago.

Havel made it clear earlier he would only run if nominated by all four parties he considers democratic. The two other parties in parliament, the Communists and the extreme nationalist Republicans, are expected to vote against Havel.

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