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Czech coalition government splits

The prime minister of the Czech Republic has said the leaders of the three parties which form his government have agreed to end their coalition.

Petr Necas said the coalition's existence should confirmed on Friday.

But it does not mean the government has collapsed since a new party may be formed that would replace Public Affairs, a junior coalition partner.

The announcement comes after Vit Barta, an informal chairman of the centrist Public Affairs, was convicted of paying bribes.

Mr Barta announced he would quit politics, but refused to resign his parliamentary seat, angering Mr Necas.

A number of prominent members and politicians of Public Affairs walked out earlier this week and are forming a new group that may replace the party in the government.

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