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PRAGUE (AP) - A Czech artist known for his anti-communist stance hasfloated a huge statue of a hand making an obscene gesture on Prague'smain river, days before parliamentary elections that could give thecommunists a taste of power almost a quarter-century after they wereousted.

David Cerny's giant purple hand, extending an oversized middlefinger, was placed on a pontoon on the Vltava river Monday, near thefamed Charles Bridge and visible from Prague Castle, the seat of thepresidency.

President Milos Zeman supports a plan by the leftist Social Democratsto form a minority government after the vote with tacit support fromthe maverick Communist Party.

It would be for the first time since the 1989 anti-Communist VelvetRevolution that the party would get power, at least indirectly.

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