President Miloš Zeman has named Radovan Suchánek a Constitutional Court judge in a ceremony at the head of state’s residence at Lány near Prague. Justice Suchánek was previously a legal advisor to the Social Democrats and has pledged not to rule in cases where he could be accused of bias. At 40, he is the youngest member of the court. Mr. Zeman is recuperating at Lány from a knee injury and was making his first public appearance in around a month.
The final version of a coalition deal between the Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats should be drawn up within a fortnight, the Social Democrats’ deputy leader Alena Gajdůšková said on Tuesday. Officials from her party are preparing a draft agreement that will be presented to the other two parties involved in negotiations at the weekend. To date the Social Democrats and ANO, the largest groupings in the likely coalition, have divided a few key positions between themselves.
Viktoria Plzeň have travelled to the UK for a Champions League game against Manchester City on Wednesday night. The West Bohemians were beaten 3:0 by City at their ground and have taken no points in their four Champions League group games to date. If CSKA Moscow take any points from Bayern Munich in this week’s other Group D game, Plzeň will need to equal that result against Manchester City to keep alive their hopes of securing third spot and a berth in the second-tier Europa League.
The Czech AIDS Help Society, which runs a Prague facility called The Lighthouse in Karlín helping HIV-positive patients, is offering free testing for HIV from Monday to Friday this week. The move, aimed at preventing the spread of AIDS and prompting individuals who might not otherwise get tested to do so, leads up to World AIDS Day observed on December 1.
Billionaire businessman Andrej Babiš, the head of ANO 2011 which came second in last month’s elections, has confirmed that Zbyněk Průša, the head of the DEZA chemical firm would head of the board of directors of Agrofert, the parent company. Babiš, who owns 100 percent of the chemical and agriculture firm and employs some 27,000 people through numerous firms, could be named the country’s next minister of finance – if ANO 2011, the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats agree on a coalition. Mr Průša confirmed that if he received the offer he would accept; it is unclear whether he would also be the company’s general director once Mr Babiš joined the government.
The Social Democrats, leading talks on forming a new government, say they will present potential partners ANO 2011 and the Christian Democrats with a coalition proposal within several days. Party chairman Bohuslav Sobotka made clear that the parties would then assess the contents, before meeting to discuss or iron out concrete details. He also said that the parties should agree on candidates for the post of speaker of the lower house and the deputy speakers. At the weekend, the Social Democrats and ANO 2011 reportedly made progress on issues including taxes, which had been a sticking point.
With temperatures falling markedly, forecasters are warning of ice and snow drifts on Monday, particularly in parts of the eastern province of Moravia. Some 20 centimetres of snow is expected to fall in mountainous areas of the Czech Republic between now and Tuesday morning. Motorists are being warned to drive carefully in the Olomouc, Zlín and Moravia-Silesia regions.
Owners of luxury cars who were part of a motorcade that drove through a protected area of Šumava National Park in September each received a fine of 4,000 crowns, commercial broadcaster TV Nova reports. According to the station, a highly-placed member of the police presidium was the only one not penalized, on the grounds that he could only be punished by his direct superior. The park’s representatives originally suggested that fines could go as high as 50,000 per driver. None of those fined has appealed the decision.
A Johannesburg court has okayed Czech businessman Radovan Krejčíř’s transfer to hospital, after his lawyer warned his client was in danger of renal failure. Mr Krejčíř was arrested three days ago by South African police on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder and was being held. It is unclear, whether the Johannesburg court on Monday will also decide on potential bail. Initially on Monday, the hearing was delayed by more than an hour as maximum security was put in place at the courthouse. Mr Krejčíř has had repeated bouts with the law in South Africa; in his homeland Czech Republic, he was found guilty of tax evasion and embezzlement; he fled the country after escaping during a police search of his home.
Deputies elected last month took part in a constituent session of the Czech lower house on Monday afternoon. The session was chaired by Miroslava Němcová, who was speaker of the house during the last parliament; one of the first tasks of the new lower house is to choose her successor. Jan Hamáček of the Social Democrats, who came first in October’s elections, is expected to win the post. The average age of the new intake of MPs is just under 50, making this the oldest parliament since the foundation of the Czech Republic. Thirty-nine of the deputies are women – five fewer than after elections in 2010.
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