VACLAV HAVEL, the Czech President, began negotiations on the country's future government yesterday after the centre-left Social Democrats won the parliamentary elections but failed to a gain enough votes to govern alone.
The Social Democrats, led by Vladimir Spidla, won 70 seats in the 200- seat lower chamber of parliament on Saturday, well ahead of the centre- right Civic Democratic Party, which won 58 seats. The Communists finished third with 41, their best result since the Velvet Revolution toppled the country's communist regime in 1989.
Coming in fourth, and last, was the centre-right coalition of the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union, with 31 seats.
Although this is the first time since the revolution that left- wing parties have gained a majority, Mr Spidla had said he would not work with the Communists. He has suggested that other political deals are possible, or he could form a minority government.
Mr Spidla said he would first consider a deal with the coalition of Christian Democrats and …