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Ex-health minister David Rath running for Senate

A former health minister and regional governor sentenced for corruption has announced that he will run for the Senate. David Rath, arrested with millions of crowns on his person six years ago and accused of rigging public contracts, was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison last month. He appealed the verdict.

The former governor of Central Bohemia said he would stand for elections in Litoměřice, a locality he knows well having spent a long time in custody there. If elected to the Senate, he would acquire immunity from prosecution.

He told journalists that if elected he wanted to fight the privatisation of the Litoměřice hospital, excessive bureaucracy and migration.

Deadline for parties and candidates running in Senate and local elections

The deadline for political parties, movements and independent candidates running in the autumn Senate and local elections expires at 4pm on Tuesday.

Local elections and elections to a third of the Senate are due to take place on October 5-6.

Voters will elect 27 new senators which may re-affirm or break the dominant position of the Social Democrats in the upper chamber.

The ANO party will be defending its victory in local elections four years ago, when it was the leading force in Prague and other big cities.

Labour and health ministers against birthing houses

The newly-appointed Social and Labour Minister Jana Maláčová and Health Minister Adam Vojtěch are against the idea of setting up birthing houses in the Czech Republic, which would be staffed by midwives.

Maláčová said she had discussed the matter with the health minister and both were of the opinion that it would be better to improve conditions at maternity centres and hospitals, giving women greater privacy and more options in how they want to give birth.

The issue of home births or births assisted by midwives only has been a controversial issue in the Czech Republic for years with doctors vehemently against the idea, saying that in the event of complications it puts at risk both mother and child.

While the law allows the setting up of birthing houses, it has not been carried out in practice since the conditions stipulated are so strict that only hospitals and clinics are able to meet them.

Koštál named head of ERU board

Vratislav Koštál has been named chairman of the board of the Energy Regulatory Office for a three year term. Its outgoing head Vladimir Outrata will remain on the board.

The Energy Regulatory Office was set up in 2001 as an administrative authority responsible for regulation in the energy sector, supervision over the energy market and protection of clients’ interests.

Exhibition marking centenary of Czechoslovakia opens in Plzen

An open-air photo exhibition documenting the history of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic over the past 100 years has just opened in the west Bohemian town of Plzen.

The photographs were taken by ctk news agency reporters and document the daily life of citizens as well as milestone moments in the country’s history. They were selected from an archive containing several million photographs.

The exhibition, marking the centenary of the founding of Czechoslovakia, runs until August 19.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 32 and 36 degrees Celsius.