Václav Klaus has been re-elected Czech president. On Friday Mr Klaus (66) received 141 votes in the third round of what was the second attempt in a week to elect a new president. The incumbent received the backing of his own Civic Democrats, most Christian Democrat legislators and some others. US-based academic Jan Švejnar, mainly supported by the Social Democrats and the Greens, received 111 votes. Mr Klaus, a right of centre Euro-sceptic, will be sworn in at the beginning of next month, when his current five-year term ends.
Czech Television said a record 1.37 million people had watched the presidential election live on Friday afternoon. The public broadcaster’s digital channel CT24 also saw high audience figures: 3.1 percent of the TV audience watched its broadcasts, which were the same as on the terrestrial station CT1. Czech Television has won plaudits for its comprehensive and uninterrupted coverage of both elections.
Around 100 people have demonstrated against the transporting of snow to Vesec near Liberec for a stage of the Cross-Country Skiing World Cup. Organisers of the meeting built a 1.9-kilometre track at Vesec with snow taken from the Jizera Mountains; they face possible sanctions for damaging a protected area. Those protesting at the World Cup event at Vesec on Saturday also expressed their disagreement with plans to hold the Nordic World Ski Championships there next year.
Meanwhile, the Czech skier Lukáš Bauer finished second in an 11.4-kilometre race at Vesec on Saturday, just 12 seconds behind the winner Jean Marc Gaillard of France. That result means Bauer’s overall lead in this season’s World Cup again increased; it would now take a real upset for the 30-year-old from Ostrov nad Ohří not to win the title. But Bauer will have to finish the season on new skis – the ones he was wearing on Saturday were destroyed by stones on the frozen course in Vesec.
The France-based English singer and actress Jane Birkin is playing a concert at Prague’s Archa theatre on Saturday night. Birkin is perhaps best known for her collaboration with her second husband Serge Gainsbourg, with whom she recorded several albums and the hit single Je t’aime…moi non plus. The singer, who is 61, is due to perform songs from her most recent albums.
President Václav Klaus has won a second term in office in Friday’s presidential elections. In the crucial third round Mr. Klaus, fielded by the ruling Civic Democrats, won 141 votes from the deputies and senators present. Challenger Jan Švejnar, a liberal economist backed mainly by the Social Democrats and the Greens received 111 votes. The president was re-elected in a public vote.
In his address to the assembled lawmakers earlier today President Klaus condemned the public wrangling and arm-twisting that has accompanied the election. He said it had been a week of threats, lies and dirty deals that the public would find it hard to forget. In reaction to the events of the past week the incumbent called for a public vote and appealed to law-makers to try and make this election dignified.
Despite his appeal pressure on lawmakers has not let-up in the course of the day. Deputy Evžen Snítilý of the opposition Social Democrats was expelled from the party’s deputy group in the lower house on Friday morning after announcing his intention to vote for Václav Klaus. Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek called on Mr. Snítilý to give up his mandate in the lower chamber.