Over one hundred members of the ruling Social Democratic Party met in Prague on Saturday to establish a leftist faction within the party and agree on forms of cooperation. Among the founders of the leftist faction are Jan Kavan and Vladimir Lastuvka, two rebellious back-benchers who threatened to withhold their support for the coalition government of Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek just two weeks ago. Mr. Kavan said the leftist faction did not aim to destabilize or break up the party, but rather to deepen party democracy and make sure that the Social Democrats remain true to their policy programme. No reforms at the expense of the poor, Mr. Kavan told the press.
President Klaus said in an interview for the daily Lidove Noviny that he would respect the outcome of the vote on the EU Constitution but that until then he reserved the right to criticize it. The President was reacting to criticism from Brussels and some Czech politicians with regard to his strongly negative stance to the EU Constitution. If the Czech Republic ratifies the EU Constitution then as President I would have to accept that, or else seriously consider leaving my post, but until then I have the same right to my opinion as any of the other ten million inhabitants of the Czech Republic, Mr. Klaus told the paper.
Fifteen Polish tourists were seriously injured in a bus crash near the town of Frydek Mystek on Saturday morning. Five of them were in critical condition and were flown to hospital by helicopters. The bus allegedly careened off the road and overturned into a three metre deep ravine. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
Seven of the 32 young people whom President Klaus refused to appoint judges some time ago have filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court. Mr. Klaus made the decision on the grounds of their age, arguing that candidates under age thirty were not mature and experienced enough to hold such a post. The rejected candidates say this is unacceptable age-discrimination and maintain that they are fully qualified for the position.
Sunday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers and day temperatures between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius.
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