All of today's papers carry articles on the upcoming presidential elections. While the front pages of MLADA FRONTA DNES and LIDOVE NOVINY speculate on the past of the Social Democrats' presidential candidate Jaroslav Bures, PRAVO writes that the parliamentary parties are busy working behind the scenes to manipulate the complex voting system in their favour. And HOSPODARSKE NOVINY asks whether the next president should break the taboo, and include the Communist Party in his dialogue with parliamentary parties.
Today's PRAVO argues that the Social Democrats are doing all they can to foil the presidential ambitions both of their own former party leader, Milos Zeman and another former prime minister, the equally charismatic Vaclav Klaus. The paper says that the party is unnerved by the thought of a president who would steal the limelight from the prime minister and try to interfere in the running of the country.
The presidential elections are just days away. On January 15th the two houses of the Czech Parliament meet in joint session with the aim of electing the next Czech President. Parliamentary parties are therefore busy hatching plans to rally deputies and senators behind their candidates.
President Havel's term of office comes to an end on February 2nd. Both LIDOVE NOVINY and MLADA FRONTA DNES carry the same photo of Mr Havel and his wife Dagmar attending a farewell dinner at Prague Castle. On Tuesday evening President Havel was joined by some ninety foreign diplomats, to say his official good-bye as president.
The papers quote Havel as saying he hopes someone younger and healthier will succeed him and continue leading the country along the same political lines as he has done in the past. At the dinner, Mr Havel was presented with a silver plate carrying all the diplomats' signatures.
This is the start of a marathon of farewells, writes MLADA FRONTA DNES. On Wednesday Mr Havel will be saying his good-byes at the Constitutional Court in the Moravian capital of Brno. On Thursday, he has planned an evening with all the country's past and present government leaders and deputy-leaders as well as dozens of other important guests at Lany Chateau - the president's country retreat.
Do you want to know what your employees are up to when you are on a business trip? - asks HOSPODARSKE NOVINY. Why not just tap their phone calls. Although the monitoring of telephone calls is illegal, the chances of being caught are minimal as unveiling the culprit has proven to be a complicated process, says the paper.
Obviously feeling safe enough, one man is offering special monitoring equipment via the Internet. In order to evade the law, he tells his potential customers that the technology on sale has not been approved and is not meant for the Czech market. For several thousand Czech crowns you can buy it anyway and present your unsuspecting employee with an office mobile phone which secretly records all calls made on a separate machine.