Independent Senator Helena Roegnerova was elected leader of the Freedom Union's candidates who will run for the European Parliament next year. Ms Roegnerova was chosen by the leadership of the smallest coalition party late on Saturday night at its national conference in the East Bohemian city of Hradec Kralove.
The junior coalition Freedom Union-DEU says it would consider 12 percent of the vote in the June 2004 European Parliament elections a success. At the end of the two-day conference, party delegates said they did not allow for the possibility of failing in the first European Parliament election in which the Czech Republic will take part even though their voter support is currently very low. The elections will be held one month after the Czech Republic's admission to the European Union next year.
The first day of the Freedom Union-DEU party conference was marked by the departure of its deputy chairman Ratibor Majzlik who said the DEU or Democratic Union platform was leaving the party. To explain the move, Mr Majzlik said a 300-member faction disapproved of the participation of the Freedom Union-DEU in the Social-Democrat-led government.
Interior Minister Stanislav Gross has said he wants to propose to his German counterpart Otto Schily that the two countries' police forces jointly tackle the problem of child prostitution in border areas. Mr Gross said that cooperation between the two countries' police forces will be based on the Czech-German treaty on mutual assistance in criminal matters. A media campaign around child prostitution along the Czech-German border was stirred up in October by information published in a report by the German non-government organisation Karo, suggesting child prostitution was rampant in border regions. Both Czech police and local authorities say the information about hundreds of children offered for prostitution in the area was exaggerated.
Two people were killed in a light plane crash on Sunday afternoon near the East Bohemian town of Chrudim. The Z 142 plane crashed in a forest and subsequently caught fire. Police are investigating the cause of the accident as well as the identity of the two victims.
Pop singers Karel Gott and Lucie Bila won first prizes in the Cesky slavik or Czech Nightingale pop-music awards on Saturday night. The rock group Kabat won in the band category. The victory of Karel Gott and Lucie Bila came as little surprise as the two artists have repeatedly won in previous years. The winners were chosen by 50.000 Czechs who voted by sending SMS text messages from their mobile phones.
Monday should be a grey and overcast day with daytime temperatures falling to lows of minus 7 degrees Celsius.
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