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Czech High Court: Govt. Must Hold New Vote on Budget Cut Bill

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TEHRAN, March 14 (ICANA) – The Czech Constitutional Court ruled that the government has until the end of 2011 to hold another vote on an austerity package that the cabinet rammed through parliament in an expedited, emergency session late last year, the court's spokeswoman said Monday.
Monday, March 14, 2011 11:30:08 PM
Czech High Court: Govt. Must Hold New Vote on Budget Cut Bill

"The court ruled that the procedure of 'legislative emergency' used (to limit discussion of the bill on the floor of parliament) was in conflict with existing law," Jana Pelcova said, according to Dow Jones.

The court however didn't take issue with the content of the legislation, which cuts state social spending by roughly 24 billion koruna ($1.38 billion) annually, but only found that the manner in which the bill was passed was illegal, she said.

The court has given the cabinet until the end of the year to hold a fresh parliamentary vote on the legislation.

The government's spokesman Jan Osuch said Prime Minister Petr Necas would issue a statement on the ruling later in the day.

The ruling gives the opposition Social Democrat party, which put forth the complaint to the high court over the passage of the bill, the opportunity to debate the measure in parliament.

If the measure is passed in a regular parliamentary vote, which is expected as the coalition government holds 118 seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament, the legislation will continue to be valid.

If the measure is voted down or doesn't come up for a vote by the end of the year, it will become invalid as of Jan. 1, 2012.

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