President Miloš Zeman appointed Jan Kněžínek as minister of justice on
Tuesday afternoon. He was nominated to the post by Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš of ANO. Mr. Kněžínek has hitherto served as deputy chairman of
the government’s legislative council.
The move comes a day after ANO appointment Taťána Malá said she was quitting as minister of justice after less than a fortnight in the post. She had been accused of plagiarising part of her university thesis.
A coalition between ANO and the Social Democrats will undergo a confidence vote on Wednesday. The Communists will support the minority government on key votes.
President Miloš Zeman has appointed 40 new judges nominated by a former
minister of justice, Robert Pelikán. In a ceremony at Prague Castle, the
head of state told the judges that while ministers came and went the court
system remained. Mr. Zeman also warned the judges against journalists, who
he described as wasps.
Breaking with tradition a minister of justice was not present at Tuesday’s ceremony in view of the fact that the post is currently unoccupied following the resignation of Taťána Malá.
Representatives of ANO and the Social Democrats have signed a coalition
deal between the two parties, a day before their joint minority government
undergoes the necessary vote of confidence in the lower house. Also on
Tuesday ANO and the Communist Party put their signatures to a deal under
which the latter have agreed to tolerate the new government.
Opposition parties have criticised the head of ANO, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, for allowing the Communists to have a share of power for the first time since the Velvet Revolution in 1989. They say a different government could have been formed if Mr. Babiš, who is facing criminal charges, had stood aside.
All parties but ANO, the Social Democrats and the Communists say they will vote against the new coalition when it undergoes a confidence vote in the lower house on Wednesday.
The coalition of ANO and the Social Democrats will not support a proposed a
constitutional amendment under which marriage would only be permitted
between men and women, Czech Television reported after a government meeting
on Tuesday morning. The legislation was put forward by an MP for the
Christian Democrats and has support from over 30 deputies from six parties.
Another bill is also set to go before Parliament allowing for marriage between people of the same sex. It also has cross-party support, enjoying the backing of around 45 MPs in the 200-seat lower house.
Czechs are the biggest opponents of the euro in the European Union,
suggests the latest Eurobarometer survey, quoted by Czech Television. Some
73 percent of Czech respondents in the poll said they were against the
common European currency.
In 2005, a year after the Czech Republic joined the EU, some 63 percent of Czechs were in favour of the euro. Last year, the most recent date for which figures are available, that had fallen to 22 percent.
A three-day annual world congress of the Czechoslovak Society for Arts and
Sciences (SVU) gets underway in Prague on Tuesday. This year’s edition
will mark 60 years since the establishment of the society and commemorate
the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.
In a ceremony at the Czech Senate on Tuesday, the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences will also present its annual prizes for the promotion of Czech science and culture abroad.
SVU was originally established by a group of exiles in Washington in 1958. It expanded its activities to Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It also has branches in other parts of the world.
All Czech tennis players were knocked out of the Wimbledon singles
competitions after the last two Czech hopes, Karolína Plíšková and
Jiří Veselý, lost their fourth-round matches on Monday.
The Czech women’s tennis number one, Karolína Plíšková, failed to get past Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, who won 3-6 7-6, while Jiří Veselý lost to Rafael Nadal 3-6, 3-6, 4-6.
In doubles, Lucie Šafářová with US partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands advanced to the fourth round after defeating the Czech duo Barbora Strýcová and Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková 2-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Justice minister Taťána Malá has resigned on her post after 13 days in
office following allegations that she plagiarised parts of her university
thesis. Ms Malá, who made the announcement on Monday evening, maintains
that she is innocent and says the accusations are part of a campaign
Czech Radio reported last week that Ms Malá’s thesis contained undeclared passages from another student’s published work and in one instance she even copied the original text along with two typing errors.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he could temporarily also serve as minister of justice in a coalition his party in planning with the Social democrats. He is expected to meet with president Miloš Zeman on Tuesday to discuss the proposal.
The Czech women’s tennis number one, Karolína Plíšková, was knocked
out in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Monday afternoon. The 26-year-old
failed to get past Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands, who won 3-6 7-6.
In the men’s singles, Czech Jiří Veselý is set to face world number one Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, which is scheduled to take place on centre court on Monday evening.
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