News Tuesday, JANUARY 13th, 1998

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Radio Prague E-news date: January 13th, 1997 written/read by: Daniela Lazarova

Hello and welcome to the programme. I'm Daniela Lazarova and we begin as usual with a look at the main newsstories this hour

Those were the headlines and now the news in more detail

I Cabinet prepares June elections

In the wake of Sunday's political consultations Premier Tosovsky's Cabinet is drawing up plans for fresh parliamentary elections to be held on June 19th. In order to fulfil the constitutional requirements for premature dissolution, the cabinet plans to table legislation coupled with a vote of confidence. On the grounds of political consensus, parliament would then fail to debate the legislation within the 90 day limit which would enable the president to issue a dissolution order. In the meantime, the Tosovsky cabinet which was sworn in at the start of January faces a vote of confidence by February 1st. Individual political parties have reacted positively to the proposal but the ODS and the Social Democrats are requesting a written commitment from the government.

Havel back in action

President Havel, who has just returned from a three week health holiday, is set to meet with representatives of both houses of parliament. He will be briefed on the outcome of Sundays political consultations regarding premature elections and ways to bring them about. President Havel faces re-election on January 20th.

New right wing party

As many as thirty deputies for ex-premier Klaus' ODS may leave the party to form a new right-wing political entity, according to the minister for regional development and member of the anti-Klaus faction Jan Cerny. The ODS currently has 69 deputies in parliament. Finance minister Ivan Pilip, who was instrumental in precipitating Klaus' downfall, has already left the party and others are ready to follow. According to Cerny the majority will take the step after the upcoming conference of the rebel faction scheduled to take place this Saturday in Litomysl. For his part the ex-premier has bid them "good riddance" saying that their presence in the ODS created a schizophrenic atmosphere that benefited no one.

ODA may join ODS rebel faction

Pavel Bratinka , a prominent representative of the small right wing Civic Democratic Alliance has suggested that his party would be prepared to offer its name and link up with the emerging right wing party of the rebel ODS faction. "We would be prepared to do this in the interest of preventing the fragmentation of the right wing" Bratinka told the ctk.

Forman -award

Czech-born film director Milos Forman is to receive an honorary doctorate from the Prague Academy of Music Arts, his Alma Mater. Forman graduated from the academy in the mid-50s and made a number of films in this country before emigrating to the United States in 1967. The award ceremony is to take place at the Lichtenstein Palace this Friday /January 16th/ and will reportedly be attended by President Havel who is a good friend of Forman's.

Hailey to visit Prague

American novelist Arthur Hailey is expected to visit the Czech republic in May, to promote the sale of his latest book Detective. His visit has been timed to coincide with the annual international bookfair. Hailey's latest novel should be available in book-stores at the end of February. The American novelist has been to Prague on several previous occasions.

Czechs' primary concerns

An opinion poll has revealed that Czechs' primary concerns at present are to do with the troubled state of the health sector, fear of rising crime and financial concerns with regard to projected price-hikes. Ecology has dropped on the ladder of priorities as have foreign policy issues such as admission to the EU and Czech-German co-existence.

And finally the weather:

no significant change predicted there. Morning fog should give way to overcast skies and day temps between 2 and 6 degs C. Nighttime lows 1 to minus 3 degs C. A cold front is expected late Wednesday, but day temps should not decrease drastically.