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Junior party to quit coalition, leaving Czech government's future shaky

The Czech Republic's three-party coalition government appears to be heading toward collapse after a junior partner said it would quit.

The Liberal Democrats announced the move Thursday shortly after Prime Minister Petr Necas fired Karolina Peake from the post of defense minister, just eight days after she was appointed.

Necas said he had lost confidence in Peake, who chairs the centrist Liberal Democrats, the smallest member of the thee-party coalition government.

Peake says the party's leadership called on its ministers to resign from their government posts on Jan. 10.

The coalition currently rules with the help of independent lawmakers, but its future without eight Liberal Democrats in the Parliament looks uncertain.