News Saturday, SEPTEMBER 26th, 1998

Radio Prague E-News date: September 26, 1998 written/read by: Libor Kubik

Hello there, I am Libor Kubik in Studio 20 and here is the news in brief.


As you have heard from us, Czech Christian Democrat leader Josef Lux has resigned after nine years in politics, after it was announced he suffered from leukaemia.

Get-well-soon messages to the 42-year-old politician, a father of four, have been pouring in from across the Czech political spectrum, with President Havel, Premier Milos Zeman and Lower House Speaker Vaclav Klaus lamenting the resignation of a prominent leader and wishing him a speedy recovery.

Daniel Kroupa, the leader of the once-influential but now fledgling right-of-centre ODA party, on Friday described Lux's resignation as a heavy blow to the newly-formed four-party right-wing coalition contesting this autumn's Senate and community elections.

The four small parties say they will run against the hegemony of the ruling Social Democrats and Mr Klaus's Civic Democratic party, whom they consider an unholy alliance against what they say is the authentic right.


The ruling Czech Social Democrats have endorsed draft amendments to the Constitution and the election system.

But party leader Milos Zeman refused to divulge any details on Friday. He said he first had to inform the ODS.

Observers in Prague say the two parties, bound by a co- operation pact, are seeking to install a system which would allow them to alternate in power while knocking out the opposition small fry.


Meanwhile, the ODS said on Friday it had finalised the set-up of the shadow cabinet poised against the Social Democrats.

No names were disclosed and the party's deputy chairwoman Libuse Benesova said journalists would have to wait till Saturday's meeting of the ODS Executive Council.


The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly condemned an incident in which the Israeli flag was burned outside the Prague villa to house the U.S.funded Radio Free Europe's Iranian and Iraqi broadcasts.

The flag was burned on Wednesday by a group of young right- wing extremists opposed to the planned broadcasts and saying the Czech government had been forced to side with the United States.

Israel's ambassador to Prague Raphael Gvir had earlier expressed hope that the Czech Republic will condemn the incident as an anti-Israeli provocation.


Czech Railways will marginally increase the number of train connections as of Sunday to make up for sizable schedule reductions on certain weekdays.

Our correspondent says Czech Rail has altered its timetable twice this year alone.


Tennis -- and the Czech Republic led south Africa 2-0 after the opening singles in their Davis Cup world group qualifying tie on Friday.

Czech Slava Dosedel beat Wayne Ferreira 6-2 6-3 6-4. And Bohdan Ulihrach beat Marcos Ondruska 6-1 6-2 6-1.


Finally, the weather.

We expect a foggy Saturday morning but clearer skies later in the day, with temperatures from 19 to 23 degrees Celsius, but only 15 degrees in the areas where the morning fogs will not disperse.

And that's the end of the news.