Czech president to be elected in public vote - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Czech president to be elected in public vote

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PRAGUE (AP) -- The Czech Parliament has approved changing the constitution to let the public elect the country's presidents instead of lawmakers.

The Senate, which is controlled by the opposition Social Democrats, voted 49-22 on Wednesday in favor of the change. Parliament's lower house gave its green light in December.

Future presidents will be elected in a two-round vote with the top two finishers advancing to the second round, unless one gets more than 50 percent in the first round.

The next presidential election for the mostly ceremonial post will be held in early 2013, when current President Vaclav Klaus must step down after two terms in office.

Political bickering among lawmakers during previous votes touched off calls for the electoral change.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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