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Czech PM foresees coalition government with Communists

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says his leftist Social Democrats are ready to form a coalition government with the hardline Communist Party after this year's parliamentary elections.

It would be the first time the Communists would get a chance to share power since the 1989 Velvet Revolution toppled 40 years of their often-bloody rule.

Unlike many other communist parties that have joined the left-wing mainstream, the Czech party has maintained its hardline stance. It is vehemently opposed to NATO and maintains friendly ties with the ruling communists in Cuba, China and North Korea.

In Friday's interview with the business daily Hospodarske Noviny, Sobotka said a coalition with the Communists "is not a problem" anymore.

The centrist ANO movement led by Finance Minister Andrej Babis is a favourite to win October's ballot.

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