President-elect Miloš Zeman has retired to his home in the village of Nové Veselí in the Vysočina region on Sunday. According to a friend, he is planning to recuperate from the stress of the presidential campaign until Thursday, when he will go back to Prague. Mr Zeman asked not to be disturbed and said he will not pick-up phone calls from friends. The police are still looking for the person who spray-painted a red star near Mr Zeman’s home in Nové Veselí on Saturday night in reference to the former communist regime.
Some supporters of the former presidential candidate Karel Schwarzenberg are joining an initiative under the motto: “Miloš Zeman, you are and will not be my president.” The initiative was formed spontaneously at the Lucerna music bar in Prague, where Mr Schwarzenberg’s supporters gathered on Saturday afternoon to await election results. The initiative refuses to recognize Mr Zeman as president because its members believe he won by spreading lies during his campaign. Film director Monika Le Fay is one of the people behind the initiative which has since been supported by singers Roman Holý and Jaroslav Hutka, actor Olřích Navrátil, documentary director Olga Sommerová and others.
During the second round of the presidential elections this weekend, a little over three thousand ballots were found to be invalid in the Czech capital. Apparently, some of them were made invalid on purpose. Some voters placed homemade ballots into designated envelopes, indicating their preference for the cartoon character Little Mole (Krtek), for example, or the fictional theatre character Jára Cimrman. One voter placed candy into the envelope instead of the ballot.
The Czech tennis captain Petr Pála has nominated the winning team from last year’s Fed Cup final to the first round of this year’s tournament. Petra Kvitová, Lucie Šafářová, Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká will face the Australian team in Ostrava on February 9 and 10. The Australians are the second most successful team in the Fed Cup history, having won the championship seven times. But their last victory was in 1974.
President-elect Miloš Zeman has called for an early general election to
replace the current unpopular government. In an interview for Czech TV just
hours after his election to head of state, Mr Zeman said the cabinet of PM
Petr Nečas was only supported by 8 percent of Czechs. One of the coalition
parties, LIDEM, did not win its mandate in a popular vote, according to the
president-elect, and therefore the entire government did not come out from
free elections. The call was rejected by leaders of the coalition Civic
Democrat and TOP 09 parties who said the government was responsible to
Parliament’s lower house, and not the president.
Miloš Zeman, a former Social Democrat prime minister, became the first Czech president elected in a popular vote after he beat Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg in the election’s second round on Saturday.
In related news, Mr Zeman said he would approach political parties represented in the Czech Parliament for support for several issues including incentives and investments for the economy, new legislation on financial disclosures, and changes to the voting system in local elections. In an TV interview on Sunday, the president-elect said financial disclosure and the duty to prove the origin of property would be crucial for efforts to curb corruption; the voting system in local elections should enable people to choose candidates on different ballots, according to Mr Zeman.
The chief justice of the Czech Constitutional Court, Pavel Rychetský said he would accept the president-elect’s nomination for another 4 years in the post. Mr Rychetský’s ten-year term expires in August. Mr Zeman said earlier he would consider appointing Mr Rychetský, who served in Mr Zeman’s government as justice minister, for another term. The terms of three of the top court’s 15 judges expire on Monday, and another 10 will leave the court later this year.
Air pollution in the northeastern Moravian-Silesian region has deteriorated, with dust exceeding the permitted levels at all measuring stations in the region, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute said on Sunday. Smog alert for the area, declared by meteorologists last week, continues to be in place. The conditions are expected to improve next week.
The film Ve stínu (In the Shadow) by director David Ondříček has won the film critics’ awards for best movie of 2012. The film, a dark detective story set in the 1950s, won in another four categories including best director, photography, music and best male actor in leading role. The prize for best documentary was awarded to the film Láska v hrobě (Love in the Grave) by David Vondráček about a pair of homeless people living in one of Prague’s cemeteries. The third annual Film Critics’s award were handed out at a ceremony in the Archa Theatre in the capital on Saturday night.
Czech tennis players Lucie Hradecká and František Čermák have failed to win the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open after they lost to Australia’s Jarmila Gajdošová and Matthew Ebden 3-6, 7-5 in the final on Sunday. Lucie Hradecká said they had several opportunities to change the play but missed them, while the 37-year-old Čermák said reaching the final itself was a success for him.