Czechoslovakia appeared headed Friday toward a federal government that will put Communists in the minority for the first time since 1948.
For the first time, the Communists, representatives of the four other, small parties permitted in Czechoslovakia, and the opposition held what a Communist spokesman called round table talks to discuss the new government.The talks followed weeks of historic concessions by the Communists to the nation's emboldened opposition movement, which has filled the streets with pro-democracy protesters and threatened a general strike Monday unless reforms are made.
Marian Calfa, the Communist tapped to form a government after Premier Ladislav Adamec resigned Thursday, said on national TV Friday that "roughly one half of the new government could be composed of experts with no political affiliation."
The other half of the Cabinet seats would go to the Communists and members of the four other political parties, government spokesman Marcel Jansen said.
The Communist Party "is convinced that the most important thing is that they are competent and professional," party spokesman Josef Hora said. "The political affiliation is only secondary."
Socialist Jan Skoda, who attended the meeting, said, "It is possible that the Communists could end up in a small minority" in the new government.
After the talks recessed for the day, CTK reported that Calfa will meet on Saturday night with those who attended the opening talks to try to have a new government sworn in by Sunday. He did not take part in Friday's discussions.