President slams court ruling

President Vaclav Klaus has said he is appalled by the Supreme Court's decision to invalidate the Senate elections in the Prague 11 constituency. The court ruled on Friday that the elections in that constituency were invalid and would have to be repeated because the election campaign had been conducted in a dishonest manner, in violation of the election law. One of the unsuccessful candidates in the elections said he had been damaged by slanderous articles in the press. President Klaus described the decision of the Supreme Court as "a dangerous precedent" and "intervention into the country's political freedom", adding that mud-slinging in the press was not unusual in the run up to elections and was no reason to invalidate them.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Pavel Nemec said he understood the Court's decision and urged the President to think about the rules of fair play. He said that in criticizing the Court's decision, Vaclav Klaus had acted like a party leader, rather than a president.