Meanwhile, the Czech skier Lukáš Bauer finished second in an 11.4-kilometre race at Vesec on Saturday, just 12 seconds behind the winner Jean Marc Gaillard of France. That result means Bauer’s overall lead in this season’s World Cup again increased; it would now take a real upset for the 30-year-old from Ostrov nad Ohří not to win the title. But Bauer will have to finish the season on new skis – the ones he was wearing on Saturday were destroyed by stones on the frozen course in Vesec.
Václav Klaus has been re-elected Czech president. On Friday Mr Klaus (66) received 141 votes in the third round of what was the second attempt in a week to elect a new president. The incumbent received the backing of his own Civic Democrats, most Christian Democrat legislators and some others. US-based academic Jan Švejnar, mainly supported by the Social Democrats and the Greens, received 111 votes. Mr Klaus, a right of centre Euro-sceptic, will be sworn in at the beginning of next month, when his current five-year term ends.
In his address to the assembled lawmakers earlier today President Klaus condemned the public wrangling and arm-twisting that has accompanied the election. He said it had been a week of threats, lies and dirty deals that the public would find it hard to forget. In reaction to the events of the past week the incumbent called for a public vote and appealed to law-makers to try and make this election dignified.
The results of a poll conducted by the CVVM agency indicate that the majority of Czechs favor direct presidential elections. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they would prefer the president to be elected by the people, 18 percent said the decision-making should remain in the hands of lawmakers.
It has been a week of rising political tensions in which eight deputies and senators who voted for incumbent president Václav Klaus in last week’s inconclusive elections are said to have received threats in the mail. A number of them were sent bullets and vulgar SMS messages. The incidents have caused a storm of controversy among lawmakers with members of the ruling and opposition parties accusing each other of dirty deals and provocation.
President Václav Klaus has won a second term in office in Friday’s presidential elections. In the crucial third round Mr. Klaus, fielded by the ruling Civic Democrats, won 141 votes from the deputies and senators present. Challenger Jan Švejnar, a liberal economist backed mainly by the Social Democrats and the Greens received 111 votes. The president was re-elected in a public vote.
The ruling Civic Democrats have threatened to lodge a criminal complaint against an independent senator who claims the party attempted to bribe him in last week’s inconclusive presidential election. Independent senator Josef Novotný said he had been approached by a senator from the Civic Democratic Party and offered two million crowns if he backed the party’s nominee Václav Klaus.The Civic Democrats have denied the allegation and said that unless senator Novotný offers proof of his claim or makes public the name of the senator who allegedly tried to bribe him they would press charges.
Despite his appeal pressure on lawmakers has not let-up in the course of the day. Deputy Evžen Snítilý of the opposition Social Democrats was expelled from the party’s deputy group in the lower house on Friday morning after announcing his intention to vote for Václav Klaus. Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek called on Mr. Snítilý to give up his mandate in the lower chamber.
Forgotten Czech net bag makes a comeback
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
15 years later – was ending military service right move for Czech Republic?