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November 10, 2013 AT 7:29 AM
Czech center-left Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka won a strong mandate from his party on Sunday to try to form a government with two centrist parties following an early election two weeks ago. He will also negotiate with the Christian Democrats, a smaller centrist formation that returned to parliament after dropping out in 2010. The three parties together won 111 out of the 200 seats in the lower house of parliament, as the previously ruling center-right parties suffered a crushing defeat. "Social democrats are ready now to negotiate responsibly to create the new government and we will strive to put as much as possible of our winning program into its agenda," Sobotka, a former finance minister, said.