Final debate between Paroubek, Topolanek seen by 1.4 million viewers
Leading up to the election some 1.4 million people saw a final televised debate between the leaders of the country's two strongest parties. The debate was aired by the Czech Republic's largest commercial broadcaster, TV Nova, on Thursday. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek of the Social Democrats and the right-of-centre Civic Democrats' Mirek Topolanek faced off on issues that included corruption, as well as pension, tax, and health reforms. Public interest in the debates increased over the final week as campaigns wrapped-up. The televised debates - featured on all three of the country's main broadcasters - introduced for the first time in the Czech Republic US-style presidential formats that focused to a greater degree on the leaders of the two strongest political parties.