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Turnout for municipal, Senate elections at 40 percent

About 40 percent of eligible voters nationwide cast ballots in the municipal and Senate elections that took place on Friday and Saturday, initial estimates show. The estimated turnout varies widely from town to town and district to district, the Czech News Agency reports.

In the Karlovy Vary region, for example, the average turnout was less than 20 percent while in the central and southern Bohemian regions participation was at about 35 percent as of noon, two hours before the polls closed, at 2 p.m.

One-third of the seats in the upper house of Parliament are being contested. A second round of voting in the Senate elections takes place next weekend, for contestants who fail to win 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

A total of 216,000 candidates ran for around 62,000 seats in city and local councils. There were 236 candidates vying for one of the 27 vacant seats in the Senate.

Economists Aleš Michl, Tomáš Holub joining central bank board

Economists Aleš Michl and Tomáš Holub are set to become the newest members of the Czech National Bank board in November.

Michl, an external advisor to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, has often come out in favour of a stronger crown and criticized forex interventions by the central bank.

Holub has worked at the central bank since 2004 as head of the currency department. His appointment was confirmed on Saturday to the daily Lidové noviny.¨

They will fill the seats of Mojmír Hampl and Vladimír Tomšík, whose mandates are finishing.

Writer Jiří Hájíček rejects National Literature Prize

Novelist Jiří Hájíček has informed the Ministry of Culture that he will not accept the National Literature Prize because some jury members had quit after the parliamentary elections and so the award cannot be considered apolitical.

Hájicek, who began his literary career as a poet, has written six books and numerous short stories, many set in the countryside and written in a literary style he has described as a blend of suggestive narration and Slavonic melancholy.

He won the 2006 Magnesia Litera prize for prose with his novel Selský baroko (Rustic Baroque). Hájicek's short story Lvíčata (Lion Cubs) was published in the Best European Fiction anthology in 2017.

Survey: A third of Czechs never read books on mandatory list

About one-third of Czechs never read the books on their high school’s list of compulsory literature while roughly another third say the assigned books discouraged them from reading in general, according to a poll by the internet bookstore Martinus.cz.

Among the least read books on traditional compulsory lists include the Czech classics “Grandmother” by Božena Němcová and “The Good Soldier Švejk” by Jaroslav Hašek. The most widely read works include poems by Karel Jaromír Erben and Jan Neruda.

About 90 percent of Czechs polled agreed that compulsory reading in schools should remain in place, Jitka Macounová of Martinus.cz told the Czech News Agency.

Escaped green mamba caught, owner still in coma

Police and snake capture specialists on Friday captured a pet green mamba that had gone missing in Prague’s district of Hlubočepy for several days.

The deadly snake was spotted in a garden about 200 metres from the apartment building in which it had been illegally kept, and which police had evacuated until its capture.

The green mamba’s apparent owner was put into an induced coma after being admitted to hospital and given an anti-venom serum.

Kampa stages František Kupka exhibit for Czechoslovak centenary

The Kampa Museum in Prague is staging a special exhibition in honour of the celebrated painter František Kupka to mark the centenary of the founding of Czechoslovakia.

Entitled “František Kupka: legionnaire and patriot”, the retrospective covers the artist’s entire career, tracing his path from symbolism to abstraction, of which the Czech painter was a pioneer.

Kupka served as a volunteer in the First World War with the Czechoslovak legions in France, where he lived most of his life.

Weather outlook

Sunday should be partly cloudy in central Bohemia with scattered showers likely in the Karlovy Vary region and throughout much of northern Moravia. Daytime highs of 17 to 21 degrees Celsius are expected.