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FILE PHOTO: Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka speaks to journalists at Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic May 4, 2017. REUTERS/David W Cerny/File Photo

(reuters_tickers)

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Wednesday he would step down as the leader of his Social Democrat party but remain the head of the government, a move to shore up his party's prospects before an October parliamentary election.

The changes in the party come as the Social Democrats slip further in polls behind the junior ruling party ANO, led by the billionaire former finance minister Andrej Babis.

(Reporting by Robert Muller; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Larry King)

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