A Czech lawmaker from billionaire Andrej Babis's populist ANO party, which won elections last month, was on Wednesday elected speaker of parliament, an important post in the government formation process.
Under the constitution, the president has two attempts to decide who will form the cabinet, leaving the third and final try to the speaker of parliament.
Radek Vondracek, who said before the vote that his "goal" would be to "guarantee regular parliamentary debate," received 135 votes by secret ballot.
A 63-year-old Slovak-born farm products and media tycoon, Babis must clinch the support of a majority of all MPs present to win a confidence vote.
If his cabinet fails to win the vote, President Milos Zeman has said he will give political ally Babis a second chance.
Snubbed by most traditional parties over his murky communist past and recent fraud charges, Babis -- who is bidding to become prime minister -- has been forced to propose a minority administration.
Campaigning on an anti-corruption, anti-euro and anti-migrant ticket, ANO won 78 of 200 seats in parliament, ahead of the right-wing eurosceptic ODS, the anti-establishment Pirates, the far-right SPD and five other parties.
Although they will not enter into a formal coalition with ANO, parties including the Pirates, the SPD and the far-left Communists -- both staunchly anti-EU -- have signalled support for Babis's bid to govern the Czech Republic, an EU and NATO member of 10.6 million people.