Bohuslav Svoboda elected mayor of Prague


Prague Civic Democrat leader Bohuslav Svoboda was elected mayor of Prague on Tuesday in a stormy session disrupted by angry protesters unhappy with the opposition power-sharing deal in Prague. Hundreds of people turned out to protest against the coalition of Civic and Social Democrats crowding into City Hall to demonstrate their anger against a deal which they claim perpetuates the corruption-tainted status quo.

The opposition agreement between the Civic and Social Democrats, which froze-out Prague election winner TOP 09, has evoked widespread protests and divided the parties of the Czech governing coalition. Thousands of people have signed a petition against it including the former president Vaclav Havel. Amidst growing tension at City Hall on Tuesday Bohuslav Svoboda accused TOP 09 leaders of fuelling public discontent to further their own political interests.

Mr Svoboda, who is 66, is a well known gynaecologist and former head of the Czech Medical Chamber. His only previous involvement in politics was when he stood unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1998 for a small grouping called Four-Coalition.