Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has written to the president to propose Stanislav Štech as minister of education, youth and sports. He is set to replace Kateřina Valachová, who announced her resignation after one of her deputies was charged with large-scale corruption. Mr. Štech is a psychology professor at Charles University and has been a deputy education minister since 2015.
The recent government crisis has not significantly impacted support for individual Czech political parties, suggests an opinion poll carried out by the CVVM agency from May 8 to May 18. The ANO party of now former finance minister Andrej Babiš enjoyed the backing of 33 percent of respondents, a similar figure to other polls conducted in previous months. The Social Democrats, with whom ANO clashed during the crisis, garnered 14 percent support, the survey indicates. The right-wing Civic Democrats placed third on 13 percent, climbing above the Communist Party on 11.5 percent.
Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek and the speaker of the Senate Milan Stěch are being considered as the Social Democratic Party’s potential candidates in the 2018 presidential elections. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told the news site idnes.cz that since there was no obvious left-wing candidate in the running the party had decided to field its own. Up until recently it was not certain the party would field a candidate of its own, but pressure for it to do so mounted with growing opposition to President Miloš Zeman over his handling of the government crisis. Zeman, who is running for a second term in office, is still considered a hot favourite in the race.
The minister of culture, Daniel Herman, says he will join the leader of his Christian Democrats, Pavel Bělobrádek, in attending an annual meeting of the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft at the start of June. Mr. Herman told Czech Television that it had been 70 years since the war and that people ought to look forward. MPs from the Communist Party have described the top Christian Democrats’ attendance at the event as “provocation” at a time when Czechs will be marking the anniversary of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and the atrocities that followed. As deputy prime minister Mr. Bělobrádek will be the most senior Czech politician ever to attend. Mr. Herman spoke at the meeting last year.
The Zlín Film Festival, one of the oldest international film festivals for children and youth in the world, opens on Friday. Over the next eight days festival-goers will be able to choose from 326 films from a record 62 countries. The57th edition of the festival will put a special focus on Swiss and Swedish films for children and celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth of the famous children’s author Astrid Lindgren. The festival will open on Friday night with a documentary about Hermina Tyrlová, one of the pioneers of Czech animated film.
The Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová is set to return from injury next week at the French Open. Five months after surgery to repair serious hand injuries sustained in a knife attack at her home, the two-time Wimbledon winner will play her first match at Roland Garros against Julie Boserup of the US, who is ranked 86th in the world. Kvitová, who is 27, goes into the Grand Slam tournament as 15th seed.
It should be partly cloudy with sunny spells in the Czech Republic on Saturday. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 24 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs may climb to 30 degrees in the following days, forecasters say.