Daily news summary
More than 45 percent of Czechs abroad voted for Jiří Drahoš
More than 45 percent of Czechs abroad voted for Jiří Drahoš in the first round of presidential elections. Pavel Fischer finished second with over 20 percent of the vote, followed by Marek Hilšer with more than 11 percent. The incumbent Czech president Miloš Zeman, who won the first round with round in the Czech Republic, secured 7.5 percent of the vote to finish in the fifth place.
Jiří Drahoš gained more than 50 percent of the vote among Czech voters in the US and Brussels. Miloš Zeman, on the other hand, secured votes of Czech soldiers on foreign missions, coming in the first place in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
More than 12,000 Czechs living abroad cast their ballot in the first round of presidential election, most of the in Great Britain, Germany and Brussels. There were altogether 109 polling stations outside the Czech Republic, mostly at Czech embassies and consulates.
PM Babiš to attend World Economic Forum in Davos
Czech Prime Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš will take part in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 24 and 25. Among other things, he wants to defend the Czech position on EU migrant quotas and make new political contacts, Andrej Babiš said on Sunday on private television channel Prima.
This year’s annual meeting of world leaders in Davos will also attended by US president Donald Trump, who want to promote his America First agenda.
Civic Democrats back Jiří Drahoš in run-off presidential elections
The Civic Democratic Party has given its endorsement to Jiří Drahoš in the second round of direct presidential election set to take place in two weeks’ time. The suggestion was made by the party chairman Jiří Fiala on Sunday at the party’s congress in Ostrava.
Jiří Fiala, who was re-elected chairman of the Civic Democrats on Saturday, called on Czech citizens to take part in the presidential election and said that Miloš Zeman’s second term in office is not in the country’ best interest.
Two deputies to get full access to Stork’s Nest fraud report
The Czech Finance Ministry will provide two deputies with a full report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) into the so-called Stork’s Nest affair to two deputies. However, they won’t be able to pass the report to anyone else. The Minister of Finance, Alena Schilerová, made the statement in a debate programme on Czech Television. She also said the ministry does’t plan to release the report to the public.
Babiš, along with his fellow ANO party deputy boss, Jaroslav Faltýnek, and nine others face criminal proceedings over suspected fraud. Police have launched criminal proceedings but the lower house must lift the immunity of Babiš and Faltýnek for them to proceed against them. The two deny any wrongdoing.
The finance ministry last week released a short summary of OLAF`s report, which calls for the near 50 million crowns of European funding for the recreation and hotel complex connected with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to be withdrawn.
Crown jewels to go on display
Seven representatives of church and state are set to unlock the chamber in Prague’s St Vitus cathedral on Monday in which the Czech crown jewels are stored. The valuable artefacts will be put display for the general public on Tuesday at Prague Castle’s Vladislav Hall, the traditional site of the coronation of kings.
The crown jewels are regarded as the symbol of Czech statehood and history and consist of St. Wenceslas’ crown and the royal orb and sceptre. They are kept permanently under lock and key in a reinforced safe and are only put on display on very special occasions.
The exhibition at Prague Castle is part of a major exhibition marking the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia and is open to the public for free until January 23.
Vítková takes bronze in mass start event in Rupholding
Czech biathlete Veronika Vítková took the bronze in the women’s mass start event in Germany’s Rupholding on Sunday. Vítková finished third despite making two mistakes on the shooting range.
Kaisa Mäkäräinen of Finland came first followed by Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier. It is the second time that Vítková finished on the podium this world cup season.
Monday is expected to be mostly overcast with occasional snow showers and daytime highs ranging between -2 and 2 degrees Celsius.