Czech participation in the forming of an interim Iraqi government, measures trying to hold SARS at bay across Asia, and the latest poll on political preferences among Czechs - those are some of the headlines in today's papers.
PRAVO reports that the Civic Democrats would grab thirty percent of the vote if elections were held today, followed by the senior coalition Social Democrats who would receive 21 percent. The Communists would get a 13-percent share, while the junior coalition Christian Democrats would just about get to the lower house with their 6-percent preference. That, however, cannot be said about the third coalition partner, the Freedom Union whose preferences slumped to two percent.
LIDOVE NOVINY leads with Culture Minister Pavel Dostal's plan to initiate legal action against the commercial TV station TV NOVA intended to revoke the channel's broadcasting licence. Minister Dostal came forward with his plan amid continuing dispute between the public service Czech Television and TV NOVA, just two days before a new television supervisory body is due to be elected.
Mr Dostal states several reasons for withdrawing TV NOVA's licence - statements made by the television's director and senator Vladimir Zelezny in his weekly show accusing Czech representatives of corruption during the arbitration proceedings against TV NOVA, one-sided reports about Czech Television, and allegedly false information in some of NOVA's reports. LIDOVE NOVINY adds that on Tuesday the coalition parties will try and push through their candidates to fill the nine vacancies in the 13-member TV supervisory council.
PRAVO reports that President Vaclav Klaus will ask the Senate this week for permission to appoint the deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats, MP Miloslav Vyborny as a judge in the Constitutional Court. The judges are appointed for 10 years on condition that the upper house of the Czech Parliament, the Senate approves their appointment. Miloslav Vyborny is a former Defence Minister, but PRAVO says that President Klaus does not regard Mr Vyborny's political history as an obstacle to becoming a judge at the Constitutional Court.
On a similar note, MLADA FRONTA DNES reports on the notorious slowness of Czech court proceedings. The speed of trials differs in individual regions: for example, south Bohemian courts work much faster than those in the north of the country, where even uncomplicated cases take more than five years to resolve. That, according to the papers is in breech of the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which stipulates the right to fair and fast court proceedings.
MLADA FRONTA DNES shows a list ranking regions of the Czech Republic according to the slowness of their courts. The paper says that Justice Minister Pavel Rychetsky is planning to write a so-called "White book of Czech judiciary" which will suggest how the Czech judicial system could be made more efficient. MLADA FRONTA DNES comments that if Mr Rychetsky succeeds in implementing some of the changes, it will be a miracle, as none of his predecessors in the post have been very successful.