The Czech league title holders Viktoria Plzeň beat the Estonian side Kalju 6:2 in the second leg of their Champions League third qualification round tie on Wednesday night. Plzeň had a 4:0 advantage after the first leg in Tallinn and made light work of the visitors, with captain Pavel Horváth scoring a hat-trick that included two fine long-range strikes as the hosts notched up a 10:2 aggregate score-line. There is one more round of qualification for club soccer’s most prestigious competition, though defeat comes with a place in the second-tier tournament the Europa League, guaranteeing Plzeň a place in European competition.
An undisclosed source in the leadership of the right-of-centre Civic
Democratic Party has told the Czech News Agency that the party should be
jointly-led in the run-up to early elections by acting chairman Martin
and former candidate for prime minister Miroslava Němcová, who could be
the face of the Civic Democrats in the upcoming election campaign. The
source also told the agency that the party would strive for non-party
candidates to head ballots. Previously, former education minister Petr
Fiala was discussed.
The Civic Democrats, following Wednesday’s confidence vote, are seen as having fallen into their deepest crisis in 22 years of existence. Polls have repeatedly shown them losing ground to TOP 09 on the political right. Some political analysts have suggested that only defeat in the election will release the party from the clutches of so-called party godfathers long said to be pulling the strings from behind-the-scenes.
Jan Florián, one of two MPs who broke Civic Democrat ranks during Wednesday’s confidence vote, has quit the party. In a statement released to the media and posted on facebook, the MP laid blame for his party’s loss of voters with former chairman Petr Nečas as well as former Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda. He slammed both for, in his view, leading the party to the brink, while praising former leaders Mirek Topolánek and Václav Klaus. Both Florián and MP Tomáš Úlehla were expelled from the Civic Democratic Party’s deputies’ club on Wednesday evening in response to their actions.
The lower house on Thursday passed legislation put forward by the Senate effectively nixing the controversial S-Card system which was to have streamlined the payment of social benefits for recipients. The system is expected to come to an end later this year; pensioners, welfare recipients or others will receive payments to their account or be able to cash in cheques at their local post office as was the case before. The legislation will now head to the upper house.
President Miloš Zeman named Pavel Rychetský, Ludvík David and Kateřina Šimáčková to the Constitutional Court in a ceremony at Prague Castle on Wednesday. Justice Rychetský, who was first appointed to the Czech Republic’s highest court in 2003, will continue to serve as its chairman. The other two justices will sit on the court for the first time. With Wednesday’s appointments, the 15-member court is now complete.
In the wake of Mr. Zeman’s speech, the former coalition’s candidate for prime minister, Miroslava Němcová, said the three-party alliance would have to rethink its position. It had been waiting for a possible chance to form a government, if the president’s second nominee for prime minister failed. However, Mrs. Němcová said on Wednesday that if the situation continued she would not rule out the former coalition parties now helping other parties dissolve Parliament, so bringing about early elections. She also suggested the constitution could be changed to reign in the president’s powers.
The Czech league title holders Viktoria Plzeň are set to welcome the Estonian side Kalju in the second leg of their Champions League third qualification round tie on Wednesday night. Plzeň go into the game in a strong position after a 4:0 win in Tallinn. There is one more round of qualification for club soccer’s most prestigious competition, though defeat in the fourth qualifying round comes with a place in the second-tier tournament the Europa League.
A 19-year-old Czech man has admitted to murdering his Czech girlfriend, who was 24, in the western Indian state of Goa on Wednesday. The women’s body, which had neck wounds, was discovered in their room at a beachfront hotel. The man at first claimed that the pair had been kidnapped by two attackers and deliberately injured himself to substantiate the story. However, he later confessed to committing the murder himself.
Speaking ahead of the confidence vote, President Miloš Zeman said that if MPs didn’t approve the interim cabinet it could remain in place for some time. Mr. Zeman told the lower house that he would not charge a new prime minister with forming a government as long as an investigation centred on a former aide to the previous prime minister was ongoing; the arrest of Jana Nagyová on charges of abetting bribery and abuse of office helped bring down the last government, headed by Petr Necaš. The prosecutor in the case says it could take several weeks for the investigation to be completed. Under the constitution, there is no time limit under which the president would have to task a second prime minister with forming a cabinet.
Drivers on the Czech Republic’s main motorway the D1 can from Wednesday access more accurate information online about closures and waiting times in certain sections and estimated time to their destination, the news website aktuálně.cz reported. The information, which is collated by a new system operated by the country’s roads authority, is available at the website www.dopravniinfo.cz. One of the people behind the system said it has to now often been a “lottery” as to whether motorists on the D1 reached their destination on time.
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