Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Friday asked Petr Necas, the leader of the second—placed party in the May parliamentary election, to form the Czech Republic’s new majority centre—right government.

Mr. Klaus asked Mr. Necas, the interim head of the centre—right Civic Democrats, to inform him about the ongoing talks in two weeks.

Mr. Necas’ Civic Democrats and two new parties — the conservative TOP 09 and the populist Public Affairs — have been negotiating a three—party, centre—right ruling coalition since the country’s general election ended on Saturday in a defeat for leftist parties.

Mr. Necas received the president’s authorisation two days after the three party leaders signed a declaration confirming their desire to form a joint, majority government. This followed some initial hesitation on the part of Public Affairs.

The president’s move is customary and is not based on the constitution. But it indicates that Mr. Klaus expects to appoint Mr. Necas the country’s next premier, if the coalition talks succeed.

If the three parties strike a deal, their government would replace a caretaker cabinet, which has governed the country for more than a year.

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