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Czech Coalition at Risk After Minister Fired, Peake Says

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas’s governing coalition risks collapsing after his deputy Karolina Peake was fired as defense minister eight days into the job, she said today.

“This is the factual end of the government,” Peake said in comments broadcast on state-run Czech Television. Her LIDEM party’s five lawmakers provide vital support to the government in the 200-seat parliament, where Necas is struggling to muster a ruling majority.

Peake, 37, removed a group of top officials from the Defense Ministry last week after taking office, even though she had publicly pledged not to make any major personnel changes. The move was criticized by Necas and President Vaclav Klaus, who removed her from the post today after being asked to do so by the prime minister.

“If some men thought that some other men will oversee the new girl at the ministry, and I didn’t act according to their plans, then they should have told me about that beforehand,” Peake said on Czech Television.

Necas and Peake are due to give separate news conferences following a Cabinet meeting in Prague today.

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