David Rath appointed health minister

President Vaclav Klaus on Friday appointed David Rath health minister. The appointment came after weeks of controversy between the President and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek over whether Mr. Rath was a suitable candidate for the post. Earlier this week David Rath fulfilled the president's condition that he should first relinquish his chairmanship of the doctors' professional association. He is the tenth minister to take up the post in the past 12 years and is expected to launch a radical reform of the money-strapped health sector.

Government to buy controversial pig farm

The Czech government has pledged to buy a controversial pig farm built on the site of a former concentration camp for Romanies. Representatives of Romany organizations have long protested against its presence, demanding its removal or re-location. Although former governments attempted to resolve the matter in one way or another negotiations always broke down over a lack of funds. Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has now told the daily Lidove Noviny that his government would set aside enough money for this purpose in next years draft budget.

Social Democrats want their candidates to sign Code of Ethics

The ruling Social Democratic party has recommended that its candidates in the 2006 general elections be required to sign the Code of Ethics. The document was drafted and presented to the chamber of deputies this week by the Chairman of the lower house Lubomir Zaoralek. It sets a framework for relations between politicians and lobbyists as well as ground rules regarding the acceptance of gifts by public officials and the practice of hiring family members as assistants. Deputies have been severely criticized for the above practices in recent years and a Code of Ethics is believed to have been long overdue. It is now up to individual deputies whether they sign it or not.

Dohnal appointed president of the Supreme Audit Office

President Vaclav Klaus has appointed Frantisek Dohnal president of the Supreme Audit Office for a nine year term. The post had been vacant for two and a half years, ever since its last president Lubomir Volejnik died in office. Mr. Dohnal, whose candidacy was proposed by the Christian Democrats, won overwhelming support from deputies in the Lower Chamber. A former governor of the Vysocina region, Frantisek Dohnal has resigned from all his political posts and left the party in order to avoid a conflict of interest.


Saturday is expected to be overcast and rainy across most of the Czech Republic with day temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius.