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The Return Of Klaus?

International Outlook: GLOBAL WRAPUP


-- Czech hard-line free marketeer Vaclav Klaus may be back in office soon. The former Prime Minister's Civic Democrats came in second in general elections on June 19-20. But Milos Zeman, leader of the opposition Social Democrats, which won with 32.3% of the votes, may be unable to form a viable coalition, as his Pensioners' Party allies didn't win any seats.

If Klaus can rebuild his old coalition, he could be back in power with a slim, two-seat majority. First, he has to get the Christian Democrats to rejoin him. They forced his ouster six months ago after a string of corruption scandals. Since then, Klaus, architect of the country's postcommunist transformation, has reinvented himself by focusing on big issues and distancing himself from his government's tarnished record.

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