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Ano makes big gains in municipal elections but loses Prague

The Ano party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has won the municipal elections in all but two regional capitals, including Prague, where the opposition Civic Democrats and Pirates took first and second, respectively.

More than 47 percent of eligible voters nationwide cast ballots in the municipal elections that took place on Friday and Saturday, three percentage points more than in 2014. For the Senate race, turnout reached 42 percent. It was the first popular test for the minority government of Ano and the Social Democrats formed in July.

Although the Civic Democrats won the capital, they could be frozen out of power. The initiative Praha Sobě and the Joint Forces for Prague (Top 09, Party of Mayors and Independents, and Christian Democrats) are looking to negotiate with the Pirates.

Nationwide, traditionally a variety of local associations of independent candidates have won the most seats in the municipal elections.

A second round of voting in the Senate elections takes place October 12-13, for contestants who fail to win 50 percent of the vote in the first round.

The Social Democrats will have only five candidates for the upper house of Parliament in the second round, not enough to retain the 12 seats it was defending in the vote, meaning the party will likely lose the coveted post of Senate speaker.

A total of 216,000 candidates ran for around 62,000 seats in city and local councils. There were 236 candidates vying for one of the 27 vacant seats in the Senate.

Drahoš and Čunek win Senate bids in first round

Only two candidates for the upper house of Parliament will will not face an opponent in a run-off vote on October 12-13, former presidential candidate Jiří Drahoš and current senator and regional governor Jiří Čunek.

Drahoš (independent, running on the ticket of the Party of Mayors and Independents) lost to Miloš Zeman in the second round of the presidential race last year, will represent the Prague 4 district in the Senate. A chemist by profession, he served as President of the Czech Academy of Sciences from 2009 to 2017.

Čunek (Christian Democrats), current governor of the Zlín region, was reelected to the Senate representing Vsetín. A former long-time mayor of Vsetín, he successfully defended his senatorial mandate for a second time. He has been a Senator since 2006 and a regional governor since 2016.

Czech tennis stars win women’s doubles at China Open

No.2 seeds Andrea Sestini Hlaváčková and Barbora Strýcová, both Czechs, rallied on Sunday to win their second title of the season at the China Open, coming from a set down to defeat No.3 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yi-fan, 4-6, 6-4, 10-8.

All five of the Czech pair’s finals in 2018 have come at Premier level – or better. The victory in Beijing is their biggest title as a duo.

Earlier, Dabrowski and Xu had defeated the Czech-Russian pairing of Lucie Hradecká and Ekaterina Makarova at the contest in Beijing.

Survey: annual inflation rate hit 2.6 percent in September

The annual inflation rate grew to 2.6 percent in September up from 2.5 percent the previous month, according to a poll of analysts by the Czech News Agency.

This increase stems mainly from rising housing costs, as well as electricity and fuel prices, the analysts said. Strong economic growth accompanied by rapid wage growth is also a factor, while the Czech crown remains relatively weak.

The Czech Statistical Office is due to publish official data on September inflation on Tuesday.

Pop singer Michal David to receive state honours

President Miloš Zeman will present pop singer Michal David with state honours on October 28, the day marking the centenary of Czechoslovakia’s founding.

David, whose birth name is Vladimír Štancl, studied at the Prague Conservatory in the 1970s where he formed a jazz band. He became a major pop star in the 1980s with synthesizer-heavy disco tunes such as “Non stop”.

His made a comeback in 1998 when he composed and sang the "hymn" for the Czech national ice hockey team, which that year won the Nagano Winter Olympics. Since then, he has composed and produced several hit musicals.

Zeman said in an interview with the tabloid Blesk that he would be honouring David for his life’s work in making Czech people’s lives better.

Prague Zoo celebrity hippo Slávek dies aged 33

A star animal attraction at the Prague Zoo, the hippopotamus Slávek, has died at the age of 33, due to a severe inflammation in his stomach and intestines.

Zoo director Miroslav Bábek said laboratory tests have yet to be carried out to determine the premature cause of death. Hippopotamuses can live to be 50 years old.

Slávek gained fame for surviving the devastating floods of 2002, which claimed the lives of his mate, Lentilka, and one of his seven offspring, a daughter named Barborka.

Weather outlook

Monday should be overcast to partly cloudy, with the occasional light rain possible especially in the southern half of the country. Daytime highs of between 17 to 21 degrees Celsius are anticipated.