News

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Civic Democrats willing to discuss coalition programme with Social Democrats

The winner of the June national elections, the Civic Democratic Party, has said it is willing to negotiate with the Social Democrats, the second largest party in parliament, about the programme of the emerging coalition of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens. The party said they would support a Social Democrat candidate for lower house speaker provided that agreement is reached on who will occupy the posts of deputy chairpersons and heads of the lower house committees.

Civic, Social Democrat leaders want to postpone election of lower house chairman

The leader of the Civic Democrats Mirek Topolanek and Social Democrat chairman Jiri Paroubek said after a meeting on Thursday that the election of the lower house speaker, originally scheduled for Friday, would most likely be postponed until next week. Meanwhile, talks will continue on ways to remove the political deadlock produced by the June parliamentary election.

Zaoralek says he prepared to offer post of prime minister to Civic Democrats

The Social Democrat candidate for lower house speaker, Lubomir Zaoralek, has said he is prepared to offer the post of prime minister to a Civic Democrat member. In case there is a third attempt at forming a new government, it is the lower house speaker who proposes the future prime minister. Mr Zaoralek said on Thursday, in such a case he would offer the post to a Civic Democrat member as a last possibility of preventing early elections.

Not all Communists prepared to support Zaoralek as lower house speaker

The chairman of the Communist Party Vojtech Filip said on Thursday that the Social Democrat candidate for lower house chairman Lubomir Zaoralek cannot fully rely on the support of all Communist deputies in the vote, originally scheduled for Friday. The Communist Party's objection to Mr Zaoralek's candidacy is that he had initiated a resolution at the latest Social Democrat national conference that bans the Social Democrats from cooperating with the Communists.

Press: Police president breaks speed limit

The daily Mlada fronta Dnes writes that its reporters saw the police president Vladislav Husak drive his car at the speed of 190 km/hour on a road between the town of Karlovy Vary and Prague, substantially breaking the speed limit. Under the new transport law, Mr Husak should receive 13 penalty points, a 22,500-crown fine and his driver's licence should be taken away, the paper says. Mr Husak said he regretted what had happened and in a statement on Thursday, he said he was going to give up his driver's licence for three months and donate 10,000 crowns to charity.

Foreign Ministry calls on Czechs to leave Lebanon

The Czech Foreign Ministry has again called on all Czech nationals in Lebanon to leave the country amid Israel's continuing military operation against the country. It has also recommended to Czech citizens not to travel to Lebanon. A group of Czechs are expected to arrive in Prague on Friday and another group is travelling via Syria and Cyprus. The Czech government has decided to allocate 5 million crowns for humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

Czechs, Slovaks start preparing joint military unit

The Czech and Slovak armies have started preparing a joint unit within the European Union forces, Czech Defence Minister Karel Kuehnl said on Thursday after a meeting with his Slovak counterpart Frantisek Kasicky in Prague. Mr Kuehnl said the joint unit with 1,500 soldiers is expected to be ready to operate in peace-keeping missions anywhere in the world as of 2009. The two ministers agreed that the Czech-Slovak military cooperation remained on a high and above-standard level, citing the joint operation of both armies in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina and exchange of experience with the military reform.

Weather

The Czech Republic should experience more tropical weather in the coming days with clear skies daytime highs in the mid-30s. Thunderstorms have been forecast for Friday and Saturday.