The leader of the ANO party Andrej Babiš has said his party would not field its own candidate in the presidential elections. Mr. Babiš said the presidential elections were not a priority since his party was too busy working to reach agreement on a new government. He did not say whom the party would support. Mr. Babiš has repeatedly rejected speculation that he had struck an agreement on mutual support with the incumbent president Miloš Zeman who is running for re-election.
Czech politicians have sharply rejected the idea that the country’s
public broadcasters –Czech Radio and Czech Television – should be
nationalized. The suggestion was made by the head of the Party of Freedom
and Direct Democracy Tomio Okamura in an interview for Czech Radio, when he
claimed that the financing of the two institutions was intransparent and
they should be under national supervision. He said his party was in favour
of scrapping license fees and making the public broadcasters entirely
dependent on state support.
Politicians from the ANO party, the Pirates party, the Christian Democrats, TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents slammed the idea saying they would never support censorship or take any measure that would undermined the independence of the country’s public broadcasters.
The head of Czech Radio Rene Zavoral said Czech Radio regularly presents reports on spending to the lower house of Parliament and argued that nationalizing the public broadcaster would be in violation of the basic principles of democracy.
In its 2016 annual report the Czech Republic’s intelligence service BIS says it has registered heightened activity by Russian and Chinese agents in the country. The Czech Republic was targeted by campaigns aimed against the EU, NATO and the Ukraine, the report says. Meanwhile Chinese agents were focused on influencing public opinion with regard to Tibet and undermining Czech Taiwanese relations.
The leadership of the Christian Democratic Party, a member of the outgoing
coalition, has recommended that in the wake of its poor showing in the
elections, the party should go into the opposition.
A final decision on the matter is to be made at a national party conference on Friday. Party leader Pavel Bělobrádek has said he will publicly offer his resignation over the poor election result at the conference.
The party won 5.8 percent of the votes in the elections, losing four seats in the lower house.
President Miloš Zeman will officially task the winner of the general elections Andrej Babiš of the ANO party with forming a new government on Tuesday, the President’s Office announced. Mr. Zeman has invited Mr. Babiš to Lany Chateau for a working lunch on Tuesday at which he will hand over the request in writing. The president will then meet with the leaders of all other parties that won seats in the lower house to hear their views on possible post-election scenarios.
Negotiations on forming a cabinet continue between election winner ANO and
the eight other parties who won seats in the lower house. On Tuesday
ANO’s negotiating team is set to offer the right-wing Civic Democrats,
who came second in the elections, a place in the government. The party’s
intention to make a coalition offer was confirmed by ANO deputy chair
Although ANO and the Civic Democrats would technically hold a 103 seat majority, the Civic Democrats have already indicated they do not want to enter into a coalition with ANO.
Talks will also take place with the right-wing TOP 09 which got 5.3 percent of the votes and has also said it is heading for the opposition.
The head of the TOP 09 party Miroslav Kalousek has announced that he will
not run for reelection at the party’s national conference in November.
The announcement comes in the wake of the party’s poor showing in the weekend general elections. TOP 09 won just 5.3 percent of the vote, only barely crossing the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in the lower house. It will retain only 7 seats in the lower house, losing 19 seats.
Kalousek co-founded the party in 2009 and served as deputy chair under party leader Karel Schwarzenberg. He took over in 2015 when Schwarzenberg left the top post.
The CEO of Australian company European Metals Holdings, Keith Coughlan, has
said the company wants to negotiate the possibility of extraction of
lithium at Cínovka in Teplice in the Ore Mountains with the new
government. According to the CEO, EMH is ready to meet the obligations of a
memorandum signed by the Social Democrat Minister of Industry Jiří
Havlíček and the company at the beginning of October.
The firm has already negotiated with the state enterprise Diamo. It is unclear what tack the next government will take. Lithium mining in the Czech Republic became a heavily politicized issue ahead of the recent election. In the run-up, Andrej Babiš, whose ANO won the election, several times labelled the memorandum as theft.
Lobbyist Marek Dalík has until November 6 to begin serving a five year
prison sentence, the spokeswoman for Prague's Municipal Court has
confirmed. Mr Dalík, she said, was expected at Ruzyně prison at the
latest at four pm on the 6th, a Monday.
Mr Dalík, a former close aid to ex-prime minister Mirek Topolánek, was sentenced to prison in July for soliciting a bribe over a military deal.
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