President Miloš Zeman will set out on a tour of Czech regions next week, starting in the eastern Zlín region where he is scheduled to spend three days. A week later, Mr Zeman is set to visit the Pardubice region, followed by southern Moravia by the end of September. However, the president’s plans have come under criticism over his involvement in the election campaign. Mr Zeman’s former party, the SPOZ, has fared best in the Pardubice and Zlín region where the president’s chief of staff, Vratislav Mynář, will head the party’s ballot in the upcoming early general election. Mr Zeman said he did support the party but would not participate in its campaigning.
Jana Bobošíková's Sovereignty party has joined forces with some former members of the Civic Democratic parties, conservative independent politicians and other smaller political movements to form a new block called "Hold your head high" or "Hlavu vzhůru". The political group, which will be headed by Jana Bobošíková, will run in the October general elections as a single entity. It has received backing from former president Václav Klaus, who announced this week that he will not be leading his own political movement in the elections. Among members of the new grouping are former Civic Democrats Michal Doktor and Boris Šťastny as well as the ultra conservative initiative D.O.S.T.
The prosecution in the corruption case against the former Central Bohemian governor David Rath has introduced as evidence a new video on Friday that shows the details of Mr. Rath’s arrest and disproves a number of statements that the defense has made. Unlike the first video that was shown during hearings, this one was taken from a different angle by a camera on a policeman’s uniform and clearly shows the whereabouts of the defendant and the fact that the box, which contained the alleged bribe, was never out of the defendant’s sight. Mr. Rath has claimed from the beginning that he thought that the box contained a bottle of wine from his co-defendant Kateřina Pancová, and that during his arrest the money was placed inside by the police, while he was being taken aside. Mr. Rath and 10 other defendants have been charged with bribe-taking and manipulating public tenders and may face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.
The mayor of Ostrava and the regional chairman of the Social Democratic party, Petr Kajnar, has filed a lawsuit after not having made it onto the party’s ballot in the Moravian-Silesian region. Mr. Kajnar, along with two other colleagues from the city administration, claim that the candidates for the ballot were not selected democratically, which is a violation of the statues of the party. The head of the Social Democratic party in the city of Ostrava, Adam Rykaly, has said that Mr. Kajnar simply did not get enough votes to be put on the ballot for the next general election. According to a decision of the Constitutional Court from 2011, parties are legally bound to respecting their statues.
Former chairman of the Green Party, Martin Bursík, has gathered enough signatures to support the registration of his new Liberal Ecological Party in a record three days. Since announcing his intent to found a new party, the group has been able to gather the 1,500 signatures necessary and is planning to register the new party on Friday. Mr. Bursík said that once it is registered, the party will run in the general elections in October, but it has not been decided yet whether it will run alone or in partnership with another political entity. The new group has received support from the Czech-American economist Jan Švejnar, founder of the betting agency Fortuna Michal Horáček and others.
Czechs voting abroad will be choosing from candidates running in the Central Bohemian region in the upcoming general elections in October, according to a random draw carried out by the State Election Committee on Friday. The committee selects the region in which Czech citizens who do not have permanent residency in this country will be voting before every parliamentary election. In both of the last general elections – in 2006 and 2010 – the random draw fell on the South Bohemian region. The Interior Ministry has slated more than 400 million crowns for organizing the election on October 25 and 26.
Czech Post has warned people about emails that look like notifications of package pick-ups, but actually carry a Trojan horse virus. Customers are advised not to open the emails and delete them. Czech Post’s spokesman said that this is the second time a similar virus attack has taken place in the past two weeks and that this may be an attempt to discredit the postal service. The company has filed a legal complaint against an unknown perpetrator.
Public broadcaster Czech Radio posted a net profit of 26.6 million crowns and generated revenues worth 2.158 billion last year, according to its annual report for 2012. In 2011 Czech Radio netted 145 million. Licence fees, accounting for more than 90 percent of total revenues, generated 1.913 billion crowns last year. The number of licence fee payers is reported to have increased to 3.063 million in 2012.The public broadcaster last year employed 1,400 people.
Actor and dubbing artist Jiří Tomek has died at the age of 82 in Brno. Mr. Tomek is known as the Czech voice of Peter Sellers and received the František Filipovský award for lifelong mastery of dubbing in 1998. He began acting in the Theater of Brothers Mrštiky in the mid-1950s and mostly had comedic roles. He also received around 60 minor roles in film and television productions. In 1995, Mr. Tomek was one of the first two people to place their hand prints on commemorative plaques as part of the boardwalk of fame in front of Brno’s Municipal Theater.
Czech football club Viktoria Plzeň have drawn Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, and Manchester City in the group stage of the Champions League. Bayern are the title holders. The draw is being seen as a tough but attractive one for Plzeň, who have now reached the group stage of the competition twice in three years. Plzeň’s advance to this stage of Europe’s most prestigious club competition, secured the team bonuses to the equivalent of 280 million crowns. In the first match, the club will face Manchester City.