Christian Democrats elect new leadership
The Christian Democratic Party, the fourth biggest party in the lower house, elected a new leadership at its party conference in Brno on Saturday. The party's new chairman is senator Jiri Cunek, a politician whose name made headlines nationwide when as mayor of Vsetin he evicted several hundred Romany rent defaulters from the town centre in mid-October. A Roma organization is pressing charges of racism against him and some two dozen Romanies turned up to protest against his election outside the Brno conference hall. On the other hand there are many who praise senator Cunek for the decisive manner in which he dealt with rent-defaulters and observers say this may have helped him win a seat in the senate. Senator Cunek has called for party reform and his election to the post of chairman is expected to give the party a new direction.
Talks of forming a new government continue
Talks on forming a new coalition government continue without the Green Party which announced its decision to withdraw from the talks on Friday because their programme priorities were allegedly not being taken into account. According to a press report released by the Social Democrats the three remaining parties - the Civic Democrats, Social Democrats and the Greens - are now discussing reforms in the areas of health care and security.
Speculation regarding Social Democrat leader's position
There has been speculation as to the position of Jiri Paroubek, leader of the Social Democrats, following Thursday's announcement that another party deputy wanted to leave the deputies group in parliament. This would undermine the party's position in government talks. In recent weeks there have been signals that the party is divided over whether it should go into the opposition of fight for a place in government. There has even been speculation that the former party boss Milos Zeman, who is no longer active in politics, has been trying to organize a putsch against the current Social Democrat leader. Mr. Zeman has rejected the idea as nonsensical.
Eighteen percent of Czechs say women don't need higher education
A fifth of Czechs believe that only men should have the privilege of higher education. A poll conducted by the CVVM agency indicates that 18 percent of Czechs, mainly older people, still believe in the male-female division of labour according to which the man is the breadwinner and the woman's place is in the home. Despite this surprising outcome, the number of women graduating from Czech universities is on par with that of male graduates and the vast majority of Czech women work.
Mother of three year old boy gets one year suspended sentence for negligence
The mother of a three year old boy who was killed when he fell out of a moving train earlier this year was found guilty of negligence. She received a one year suspended sentence in view of the fact that she is bringing up another underage child. The woman sent the little boy to the toilet unattended while she was tending to her daughter.
The next few days are expected to be overcast with scattered showers and day temperatures of around 6 degrees Celsius.