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President accepts resignation of ANO minority government

President Miloš Zeman accepted the resignation of Andrej Babiš’s ANO minority government on Wednesday, a week after it failed to pass a first vote of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies. The president has already said that he will immediately give Mr. Babiš a second chance to put together a government and will appoint the ANO chief prime minister again next month.

Wednesday’s resignation ceremony comes two days before the runoff in the Czech presidential elections. Mr. Babiš came out in support of Mr. Zeman’s candidacy before the first round.

Cabinet approves 225 million crown donation to Libya

The Czech government will send some 225 million crowns (nearly nine million euros) to the EU Trust Fund for Africa. The proposal was made by Interior Minister Lubomír Metnar and approved by the cabinet on Wednesday. The Czech donation should be used in Libya to improve medical services and ease the return of immigrants to the country. The money should be delivered to Libya by the end of February.

The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established at the EU summit in Malta in 2015 to tackle the EU’s biggest ever migration crisis. The Czech Republic has previously donated more than 42 million crowns (around 1.6 million euros) to the fund.

Zeman judged to have edged first debate with Drahoš, format criticised

Political marketing experts say incumbent Miloš Zeman edged the first televised debate with his challenger for the post of Czech president, Jiří Drahoš, on commercial station TV Prima on Tuesday night. Martin Joachymstál, a political marketing specialist, told the Czech News Agency that Mr. Zeman had outdone his rival. He said also that the clash had been influenced by the poor performance of the host of the debate, who had failed to keep the rowdy audience in check.

This view was shared by Alžběta Králová of the Institute of Political Marketing, who said that Mr. Drahoš had attempted to hold a serious debate in an unserious environment. She said that the aggressive and confrontational style of the event had suited Mr. Zeman and that his rival had failed to prevent the incumbent from interrupting him.

The two candidates are due to meet again in a second and final debate on Thursday night. Voting in the second round runoff begins on Friday afternoon.

Czech accused of drug smuggling remains in custody in Pakistan

The 21-year-old Czech woman detained by customs officials at Pakistan’s Lahore airport earlier this month with nine kilos of heroin in her possession is set to remain in custody. A court in Pakistan has extended her detention until the end of January, the Czech Foreign Ministry told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday.

The Czech, who denies responsibility for the heroin found in her baggage, was set to appear in court for the first time on Wednesday but the hearing was postponed due to safety reasons.

Number of passenger cars in Czech Republic increases 5.5 million

The number of cars on Czech roads exceeded 5.5 million last year, according to data released by the Car Importers Association on Wednesday.

The number of passenger cars in the car registry reached 5.6 million at the end of December 2017, an increase by 224,000 on the previous year. The average age of cars in the Czech Republic has increased year-on-year from 14.48 years to 14.62 years.

Czechs knocked out of Australian Open

Tomáš Berdych and Karolína Plíšková, the last Czechs in the Australian Open, both lost in the quarterfinals. The sixth-seeded Karolína Plíšková lost in straight sets, 6:3, 6:2, to world number one Simona Halep. Tomáš Berdych lost 7:6, 6:3, 6:4 to Roger Federer.


Thursday is expected to be mostly cloudy with daytime high ranging between one and five degrees Celsius.