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    Czech parliament votes against referendum on U.S. missile shield - 1

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    The Czech parliament voted on Friday against holding a referendum on the deployment of U.S. missile defense elements in the country.

    (Recasts para 2, adds details, background in paras 3-7)

    PRAGUE, October 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Czech parliament voted on Friday against holding a referendum on the deployment of U.S. missile defense elements in the country.

    A total of 76 MPs out of 200 voted in favor of the bill. 120 MPs would have had to vote for the bill in order for a referendum to take place.

    The U.S. announced plans in January to deploy ten interceptor missiles in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic as part of its missile shield, aimed at countering possible threats from "rogue states" such as Iran and North Korea.

    Moscow strongly opposes U.S. plans to deploy missile defense elements in Central Europe, considering them a threat to its national security.

    The idea for a public referendum in the Czech Republic on the issue is backed by MPs from the opposition Social-Democratic Party and the Communists, with the ruling Civic Democratic Party against.

    According to data by the U.S. Opinion Research Corporation, which conducted a poll in the country in August, 51% of Czech nationals are against U.S. radar deployment.

     

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