Czech conservative leader quits as party chairman
Associated Press
2010-04-01 06:22 PM
Former Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek says he is resigning as chairman of his conservative Civic Democratic Party.

Topolanek's decision on Thursday comes a week after he announced he would not lead his party's campaign for the May 28-29 general election or run as a candidate.

Topolanek has been under pressure following his recent controversial remarks about the church, Jews and gays during an informal interview with a gay magazine not intended for publication. Topolanek has apologized for his remarks, but said his words were misinterpreted.

His deputy Petr Necas will temporarily replace Topolanek as chairman and lead the party in the elections, which is expected to be won by the leftist Social Democrats.

The Czech Republic is currently run by a caretaker government after Topolanek's coalition government lost a parliamentary no-confidence vote.

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