Support for the election of Communist Party MP Zdeněk Ondráček to head
the lower house’s committee overseeing the General Inspection of the
Security Services should not be part of talks on forming a new government,
Radek Vondráček of ANO said on a TV discussion show on Sunday.
Controversy has surrounded efforts to install Mr. Ondráček in the post,
given the fact the inspection body oversees the police and he took part in
a crackdown on protesters in 1989 while a member of a Communist-era riot
Mr. Vondráček’s view was echoed by Jan Hamáček of the Social Democrats, who said talks on forming a government should focus on that topic alone.
The Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has won the St. Petersburg Ladies’
Trophy. Kvitová overcame Kristina Mladenovic 6-1 6-2 in Sunday’s final
for her first title of 2018. The Czech was the first wild card to reach the
final of the WTA competition, which she was taking part in for the first
The two-time Wimbledon champion, who is 27, is currently ranked 29th in the world. Her highest placing, achieved in November 2011, was second.
Seven Czech military police instructors and three military police officers
left on Sunday for Iraq, where they will train local forces, a spokesperson
for the Ministry of Defence said. The instructors will replace colleagues
who have been operating at a base in Baghdad and will remain in place for
The other three officers will help protect a 30-person Czech aviation advisory team based in the country. A week ago the Czech Army sent 12 military chemists to Iraq.
Andrej Babiš’s statement that there could be early elections if his
second attempt to form a government fails was intended to prepare the
ground for a fresh round of talks, according, Milan Chovanec. The acting
chairman of the Social Democrats said the PM in resignation’s words could
be understood as a threat aimed at ensuring such talks proved fruitful.
Speaking on the same TV debate show as Mr. Chovanec on Sunday, the chairman of TOP 09, Jiří Pospíšil, said Mr. Babiš’s comments in a newspaper interview on Saturday were a tactical move aimed at pushing the Social Democrats into a corner.
Prague councillors should next week consider new regulations to be enforced
during periods when the city is hit by particularly bad air pollution,
Lidovky.cz reported. Under the plan, which could go into effect in a
fortnight if approved, factories would be required to reduce their output
during periods of high smog and trucks would be barred from entering the
Cars would only permitted to take to the road on alternate days, depending on whether their license plates end with an odd or even number. Breach of this regulation would be considered a misdemeanour.
One of the candidates for the post of chairman of the Social Democrats, Jan
Hamáček, says entering a coalition with Andrej Babiš of ANO could be the
“least worst” option. Speaking in an interview with iDnes.cz, he said
his party, who came sixth in the general elections, were currently faced
only with bad decisions or worse ones.
President Miloš Zeman favours a situation under which ANO would form a minority coalition with the Social Democrats supported by the Communists or Freedom and Direct Democracy.
Mr. Hamáček said he could not imagine his party cooperating in any way with the latter. As for the Communists, he said they could not question Czech membership of NATO if they were involved with a pro-European ANO-Social Democrats government.
Konexe, which describes itself as a Czech-Romany association, has filed a
criminal complaint of Holocaust denial against Freedom and Direct Democracy
leader Tomio Okamura over statements he made about a WWII concentration
camp for Romanies at Lety, south Bohemia.
Mr. Okamura said in an interview last week that inmates could come and go from the camp, which for the most part had no guards. He has since apologised for saying it had no fence.
Over 300 prisoners were killed at Lety and hundreds more were sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The site now houses a pig farm and the Czech state has made various moves to buy it from the current owners.
Masopust celebrations have been held in various parts of Prague. The annual
carnival in which many people dress up in masks and costumes was marked on
Saturday in districts including Letná and Karlín. Next week the Mardi
Gras-like celebrations will take place in Malá Strana, Žižkov and other
parts of the city.
Masopust has traditionally occurred between the Epiphany (January 6) and Ash Wednesday, when the pre-Easter Lenten period begins.
The Czech Republic’s prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, has
said early elections could take place if a second government he plans to
form fails to win the necessary vote of confidence in the Chamber of
Deputies. The ANO chief made the comment in an interview in Saturday’s
edition of the newspaper Právo.
Mr. Babiš says he aims to gain support for a second government by the end of this month. He had previously ruled out snap elections. However, he says his preferred option remains an ANO one-party minority government.
The PM said he would continue speaking to the Communist Party and Freedom and Direct Democracy about possible backing for such a government.