ANO could form a majority government ahead of a second vote of confidence
in the Chamber of Deputies, the party’s Jaroslav Faltýnek said on Czech
Television on Sunday. ANO concede that their minority one-party government
will not win an initial vote of confidence scheduled for Wednesday.
At present ANO only have the backing of their own 78 deputies in the 200-seat lower house. The Communist Party, with 15 seats, will decide on their position on Tuesday.
Mr. Faltýnek said that it might happen that ANO would be able to form a majority cabinet ahead of a second confidence vote. He said the party would begin talks with other parties immediately after Wednesday’s ballot.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš has said he would prefer a minority government even in the case of a second vote.
The town of Vyškov near Brno has announced plans for a memorial to
residents who died in World War I in connection with the 100th anniversary
of the end of the conflict, iDnes.cz reported. The monument will be unique
in that visitors with smartphones will be able to read about the 150 people
honoured by using QR codes, the news site said.
The CZK 1.3 million, two-metre high memorial will take the form of a statue of a woman embracing the empty coat of her partner.
The nine candidates in the running for the post of Czech president are
preparing for their final week of campaigning before the first round of
voting next Friday and Saturday. Much of their time will be given over to
various debates, as well as handing out flyers and meeting citizens, the
candidates and their teams told the Czech News Agency.
One of the favourites, academic Jiří Drahoš, said he would highlight in debates the absence of a candidate who had refused to take part in any such forums. This is a reference to the incumbent, Miloš Zeman, who representatives say is not leading a campaign.
However, Mr. Zeman will be visible to voters this week. He is taking part as president in a ceremony at Prague Castle marking the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia and on Wednesday will be at the lower house when the ANO minority government seeks a vote of confidence.
Most Czech state arts institutions are this year preparing events and
projects commemorating the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia,
the Czech News Agency reported on Sunday. The government has earmarked CZK
322 million for a special programme that will also mark other significant
anniversaries this year.
The greatest portion of that funding is going to the Ministry of Culture while the biggest single event will be a joint Czech-Slovak exhibition marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. After a stint in Bratislava the show will move to the Czech National Museum, which by then will have reopened after major renovations.
Around 170 events are marking the centenary, the 50th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of 1968 and the foundation of the independent Czech Republic in 1993.
District and regional branches of the Social Democrats have begun holding
congresses to decide on their candidate for chairman of the party, Czech
Television reported. The Social Democrats, who headed the last government
but came sixth in elections in October, will choose a new leader at a
congress in February.
A representative of the Pardubice party organisation said it had discussed names such as Jiří Zimola and Jan Hamáček. Mr. Zimola is part of a group critical of the party leadership, who said on Friday they would not field a candidate.
Current deputy chairman Hamáček did not rule out running but said he would depend on the view of his local organisation in Mladá Boleslav, which is meeting on Monday.
The Czech Republic should continue to experience mild weather for the time
of year for at least two more weeks, according to the Czech
Hydro-Meteorological Institute. Daytime temperatures are expected to be at
0 degrees Celsius or above until the end of January, when freezing weather
is forecast to begin.
Saturday saw record high temperatures set in a number of places, with Karviná in the Moravian Silesian Region recording 13.2 degrees Celsius.
The freshly departed UK ambassador to Prague, Jan Thompson, is auctioning
off her classic Czech car for charity. The proceeds from the sale of her
1960s Škoda Embéčko (1000 MB), which was Prague’s only vintage car
with diplomatic license plates, will go to the Czech branch of the
UK-founded charity the Sue Ryder Home.
Jan Thompson was Great Britain’s representative in the Czech Republic for four and a half years. She will be replaced next week by Nick Archer.
Ivan Bartoš has been reelected chairman of the Czech Pirate Party at a
congress in Brno. Mr. Bartoš, who is 37, stood unopposed for the position
and received the votes of 276 out of 293 delegates.
Prior to Saturday’s vote the Pirates leader said the party would be a constructive opposition in the Chamber of Deputies and could play an active role in the formation of a coalition in the next electoral period.
The Czech Pirate Party are the third biggest grouping in the lower house after passing the five-percent threshold for entry for the first time in general elections in October.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says that if he makes a second attempt to form
a government it too will be a minority one featuring only his ANO party. In
an interview in the newspaper Právo on Saturday, Mr. Babiš said that said
a minority government was the best and most practical option and that he
had found being in a coalition in the previous government a “horror”.
The ANO government are expected on Wednesday to lose a first attempt to win the vote of confidence they need in the Chamber of Deputies. President Miloš Zeman has already said he will then allow Mr. Babiš’s party another attempt to find backing in the lower house.
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