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Request to remove minister may bring down Czech government

PRAGUE — Czech leaders have failed to resolve a dispute over a Cabinet minister that could cause the government to crumble.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis asked President Milos Zeman to replace his culture minister in May at the request of a partner party in his minority coalition government.

Babis said after a meeting on Thursday the president remained unready to act.

The Czech Social Democratic Party nominated Babis to be prime minister and has said the culture minister’s removal is a condition for it to stay in the governing coalition.

The Social Democrats plan to decide on Monday whether to pull out.

If it does, several options are open, including an early election. The party’s chairman, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, is set to meet with Zeman on Friday.

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