Polling stations around the Czech Republic closed at 2 PM on Saturday,
ending municipal elections and the first round of voting for the Czech
Senate. In the municipal elections, various local groups of independent
candidates are leading with votes from around 80 percent of districts
counted in. The independents are followed by the Christian Democrats and
the Civic Democrats.
A record number of candidates are running in the local elections, with 226,000 people vying for posts on municipals councils. The turnout is estimated at 50 percent, slightly higher than four years ago.
With one third of votes counted in the first round of voting for the Czech
Senate, 22 candidates of the opposition Social Democrats will advance to
the second round, along with 19 Civic Democrats candidates and five
candidates running on the TOP 09 party ticket. No senator is likely to be
elected in the first round.
One third of the Czech Senate’s 81 seats are being contested with record 227 candidates competing for the 27 seats. A second round of voting in the Senate elections will take place next weekend.
With votes counted from around 60 percent of districts of the capital Prague, the conservative TOP 09 party is in the lead with over 36 percent, followed by the Civic Democrats, with more than 21 percent, and the Social Democrats, with just over 17 percent. This would be the first defeat in the Czech capital for the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, who have dominated Prague politics ever since the fall of communism.
Police are investigating alleged election fraud in the north Bohemian municipalities of Chodov, Krupka, Roudnice nad Labem, Most and others, a police spokeswoman said on Saturday. Voters were allegedly offered money to vote for a particular party; the alleged fraudsters were reportedly targeting members of the Romany community. The police have reinforced patrols in the area; however, a member of the election committee in Chodov said they believed no law was breached as the incidents did not take place in the vicinity of the polling stations.
The police still search for a nine-year-old girl who went missing in the Prague district of Troja on Wednesday. The authorities brought in dogs of the Slovak police force on Saturday to again search the area where the girl was last seen. The search went nation-wide on Friday, and the police are now checking whether the girl could have been kidnapped abroad, the news website idnes.cz reported. The girl was last seen leaving a group of friends after school and did not return home. A police spokeswoman said the search would continue until the case is cleared.
The Czech Republic sold its pavilion at the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai to the Farm of Czechoslovak-Chinese Friendship, for 33 million crowns, or 1.8 million US dollars, on Saturday. The farm, a huge firm with 180,000 employees situated in the Beijing region, will re-assemble the pavilion and use it for the presentation of the Czech Republic in the future, a manager of the Czech pavilion said. The Farm of Czechoslovak-Chinese Friendship was built in the 1950s with the assistance of communist Czechoslovakia.
Nearly 50 percent of Czechs aged 15 to 18 smoke, and their numbers have been steadily rising, the news agency ČTK reported on Saturday. There are around 250,000 underage smokers in the Czech Republic; nine of out ten smokers take up the habit before they turn 18. An anti-smoking activist, Eva Králíková said five years ago, more boys smoked than girls, whereas now the trend has reversed.
A 33-year-old man was shot in both legs at a Prague club in the early hours of Saturday, a spokesman for the Prague police said. The man, a member of the security staff at the club, got into an argument with a visitor man who took out a gun and shot him in the calves. The injured man was taken into hospital where he underwent an operation. The police have not yet arrested the shooter but said they knew his identity.
Eight people were injured by a loose metal plate in a water park outside the Czech capital on Saturday. The accident happened when a metal plate on the bottom of a water slide got loose, causing cuts and bruises to people who were on the slide at the time. An eight-year-old girl had a dislocated shoulder; she and four other people were taken to hospital. The police launched an investigation of the accident.
The Czech basketball club Nymburk beat Aleksandrovac, from Serbia, 70:65 in the Adriatic League on Saturday. The Czechs could have won with a higher difference; they were ahead by 21 points in the third quarter but a series of unforced errors let the Serbs come back into the game. The game was Nymburk’s third win in the Adriatic League.
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