Czech PM resigns as party leader amid falling popularity

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Czech Prime Minister Boshuslav Sobotka says he is resigning as chairman of his leftist Social Democrats amid falling popularity for the party ahead of parliamentary elections.

Sobotka's deputy, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, known for his strong anti-migrant stance, will take over the party. Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek will take responsibility for the Social Democrats' campaign in October's elections.

The Centrist ANO movement led by billionaire Andrej Babis that is part of the current coalition government is heavy favored to win the ballot.

Babis called Sobotka's decision Wednesday a "desperate" move.

Sobotka will keep his post of prime minister until the election. His center-left coalition government was sworn in in early 2014.