News

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Social Democrat executive body approves Paroubek's steps

The Central Executive Committee of the Social Democrats has unanimously approved the steps taken so far by party leader and outgoing prime minister Jiri Paroubek in post-election negotiations. The party body has also authorised the Social Democrat leadership to hold talks next week with the emerging centre-right coalition of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens about policy priorities and programme concessions.

Talks on the formation of a new government have been going on for some six weeks, since a national election resulted in a perfect split in the lower house of the Czech Parliament.

Social Democrat deputy chairman Martin Starec resigns

The deputy chairman of the Social Democrats for management, Martin Starec, has resigned from his post. The CTK news agency reports the reason behind Mr Starec's decision was the fact that the modified party rules weakened his powers. The text of the party rules was the subject of a heated debate during Friday's meeting of the party leadership. The Central Executive Committee of the Social Democrats approved the new party rules on Saturday.

Lower house remains without chairperson

The election of the chairman of the lower house, originally scheduled for Friday, has been postponed until late next week. On Friday, the Social Democrats withdrew the candidature of MP Lubomir Zaoralek who was the only nominee for the post. The Social Democrats say that they withdrew their candidate because they were not able to secure enough support for Mr. Zaoralek prior to the vote.

Poll: Most Czechs approve of new road rules

A poll conducted by the Media Institute and published in the Mlada fronta Dnes daily on Saturday, suggests that 67 percent of Czechs approve of the new transport law which introduced tougher punishments for driving offences. According to the poll, most Czechs believe that drivers will be more cautious and there will be fewer accidents. Over two-thirds of drivers admit that the new law has forced them to change their driving habits. Since the law took effect on July 1st, 43 people have been killed on Czech roads. During the same period last year, the number was 73, Mlada fronta Dnes writes.

Skinhead march without any incidents

Around 90 right-wing activists attended a march through the eastern town of Svitavy on Saturday in protest against what they called miscarriage of justice in the trial of Vlastimil Pechanec who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for racially-motivated murder of a Romany man three years ago. The organisers of the march called for the reopening of his trial. No incident was reported.

Weather

The rest of the weekend should be sunny with daytime highs of up to 33 degrees Celsius. Meteorologists are warning that the tropical heat wave in the Czech Republic will continue until the end of July.