PRAGUE, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- The lower house of the Czech Parliament voted on Tuesday to dissolve itself, paving the way for early elections that could end a political row now in its third month.
The dissolution came after months of political crisis, resulting in the temporary imprisonment of several political figures and the downfall of the government.
Of the lower house's 147 lawmakers who voted, 140 voted in favor of the dissolution.
The second-largest party, the Civic Democrats (ODS), who led the previous government, left the parliament during the motion, with the exception of the speaker of the house, Miroslava Nemcova, who remained in attendance and voted against the motion.
The other major parties, including the Social Democrats (CSSD), Communists (KSCM), TOP09 and Public Affairs (VV), all voted to disband the house and bring on early elections. The motion needed 120 votes to succeed, a bar which was easily met.
This was the first time in Czech history that such a motion actually passed.
The onus is now on the Czech president who will choose the dates of the next elections.
He has indicated October 25th and 26th as possible dates, but this has yet to be finalized.
The elections must come within 60 days of Tuesday's vote.
Some are concerned with the chosen dates, as they fall on a long weekend, and many Czechs have planned go away for a short holiday.
The upcoming elections will likely result in a complete upheaval of the current composition of the Czech Parliament.
Several of the parties currently in the parliament, including the VV, LIDEM and LEV21, are extremely unlikely to pass the 5-percent threshold necessary to make it into the parliament.
The Christian Democratic party (KDU-CSL), a party with a strong history in both Czech and Czechoslovak politics, fell under the threshold at the last election, but has seen its support rate improve and is likely to return to the parliament after the election.
ODS, meanwhile, has seen its support plummet, and though it will most probably find enough votes to stay in the parliament, it is expected to fall to the fourth place in the assembly, or even lower.
Previous polling suggested that it would attain less than 10 percent of the votes, since many Czechs blame the party for the current state of politics, particularly after the scandals that caused the previous Prime Minister, Petr Necas, to resign.
Much of ODS's support has moved on to its junior partner in the coalition that formed the last government, TOP09. It has solidified its support and will be the 2nd- or 3rd-largest party in the next parliament.
The likely winners of the upcoming elections are the left-leaning parties. The current largest party in the parliament and main opposition party, the Social Democratic party, is likely to increase its mandate and is almost sure to lead the next government.
Polling forecast the party to bag at least 30 percent of the votes, far ahead of any of its rivals. The Communist Party is also likely to increase its share of the vote, after declining incrementally at every election since 1989.
There is also the chance that the Communists will be a part of the governing coalition, which would be the first time since the Velvet Revolution that they have participated in a government.