News of Radio Prague

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Marvanova resigns as head of Freedom Union

The leader of the Freedom Union, Hana Marvanova, resigned on Thursday explaining she was not satisfied with the results of the coalition talks between her party, the Christian Democrats and the ruling Social Democrats. Ms Marvanova said, however, that as an MP for the Freedom Union she was ready to vote in favour of the future government in a parliamentary confidence vote. Hana Marvanova says she plans to remain a member of the Freedom Union and does not want the party to be shaken by her step. According to the party statutes, the Freedom Union is now to be led by the first deputy chairman Ivan Pilip who failed to be elected to the lower house in the mid-June general elections.

Pilip - Freedom Union wants to complete talks on government successfully

Mr Pilip, the interim head of the Freedom Union, told journalists that despite the resignation of its chairwoman, the Freedom Union wants to successfully complete talks on a coalition government with the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats. Ivan Pilip said he would not seek any ministerial post in the future government and would not even run for the post of party chairman. On Monday Mr Pilip will start debate on when to call an extraordinary national conference of the Freedom Union.

Spidla meets Coalition representatives following Marvanova's resignation

Following the resignation of Hana Marvanova, the leader of the Social Democrats, Vladimir Spidla, met representatives of the Freedom Union and the Christian Democrats, the two partners in the Coalition grouping. After the meeting, Mr Spidla told journalists that negotiations on the future government were not threatened and they were to continue. The leadership of the Social Democrats is to discuss the matter on Friday.

Svoboda describes Marvanova's resignation as unfortunate

The chairman of the Christian Democrats, Cyril Svoboda, described the resignation of Hana Marvanova as an unfortunate step, considering the nearly completed negotiations on the new coalition government. The deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats Jan Kasal said the whole Coalition grouping, that is the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union, were going to be affected by Ms Marvanova's move but he expressed hope the coalition talks would not be threatened.

Second prisoner escapes in two weeks

Roman Bezak, a man sentenced for fraud, escaped from prison custody on Thursday morning. Police say they have launched a search for the man. This is the second case in two weeks that a Czech criminal slipped out of prison custody. Two weeks ago a man sentenced to 15 years in prison for organising a murder escaped but returned voluntarily two days later. Both criminals were inmates of Vinarice prison in Central Bohemia.

Weather

And finally a look at the weather in the Czech Republic. Friday should be partially cloudy with daytime temperatures reaching highs of 26 degrees Celsius. Saturday and Sunday are expected to be overcast with isolated showers and thunderstorms and daytime temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius.