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The Civic Democratic Party's executive body has assessed a report by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek outlining preparation for Friday's confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies, and praised steps taken by party negotiators. The news was made public Wednesday evening by the party's first deputy chairman Pavel Bem. On Wednesday the body also approved the policy statement of the coalition government, including a number of last-minute changes, concessions to the two rebel Social Democrat MPs who have agreed to leave the chamber during Friday's vote.

The development marks a turn-around in fortunes for the prime minister who faced criticism from some Civic Democrats in recent weeks. Mr Bem stressed that Mr Topolanek had broad support from the party leadership. He himself was one of Mr Topolanek's more prominent critics concerning efforts at forming a coalition government with the Christian Democrats and the Greens. On Wednesday Mr Bem expressed confidence all Civic Democrats would vote in favour of the centre-right cabinet during Friday's vote.

Poll: Bem, Parkanova most popular politicians

A new poll released by the STEM agency has suggested that Prague Mayor Pavel Bem and Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova currently top public popularity. Mrs Parkanova and Mr Bem were rated favourably by 63 percent of those queried, followed by Jiri Cunek, the head of the Christian Democratic Party, and Martin Bursik, leader of the Greens. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek was seventh on the list with 38 percent favourability, while Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek was tenth. Communist Party leader Vojtech Filip rounded out the bottom of the list, finishing twelfth.