The prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, says he will propose the
removal of Communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček as the chairman of the lower
house committee that oversees the General Inspectorate of the Security
Services, which investigates police crimes.
The ANO leader made the statement on his Facebook page on Sunday evening, saying if anybody else proposed ousting Mr. Ondráček he would back the move.
This comes despite the fact that only on Friday deputies from Mr. Babiš’s ANO party helped vote the controversial Mr. Ondráček into the position.
Mr. Ondráček was a member of a riot police unit that beat protesters in 1989 and his election has caused a major outcry, with protests against it set to take place in Prague and 10 other cities and towns on Monday evening.
The Czech Republic’s Markéta Davidová has become the junior world
champion in biathlon 10 kilometre pursuit. In Sunday’s final she finished
just ahead of Poland’s Kamila Zukova, who had beaten her to the gold in
the biathlon sprint at the competition in Estonia on Saturday.
It was the last time that Davidová, who is 21, was competing in the Junior World Championships.
ANO would have received 33 percent if elections had been held in February,
suggests an opinion poll conducted by the Kantar TNS agency for Czech
Television. Andrej Babiš’s party, who currently occupy a government in
resignation, got just under 30 percent in the last elections in October.
The survey indicates that the Czech Pirate Party would climb to second on 12.5 percent. The Social Democrats would do slightly better than in October, while the Civic Democrats, Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Communists would do worse.
Neither TOP 09 or the Mayors and Independents would achieve the minimum 5 percent needed to get back into the lower house, the poll suggests.
Communist Party chairman Vojtěch Filip says he does not understand the
reasons for a planned demonstration against the election of Zdeněk
Ondráček as chairman of the lower house committee that oversees the
General Inspectorate of the Security Services, which investigates police
crimes. Now a Communist MP, Mr. Ondráček was a member of a police riot
unit that beat protesters in 1989.
Speaking on a TV debate show on Sunday, Mr. Filip said Mr. Ondráček’s critics were not democrats and did not respect the rules of civic society. The Communist Party leader also said that more dramatic police interventions than in 1989 had taken place, including against people protesting at an IMF conference in Prague in 2000.
Mr. Filip said he didn’t see “anything bad” about the 1989 clampdowns as it was necessary “for people to feel safe and for the police to function”.
A demonstration against Mr. Ondráček’s appointment is planned for 19:00 on Monday on Prague’s Národní St., where the violent quelling of a demonstration on November 17, 1989 sparked the Velvet Revolution.
Czech doctors groups say conditions are too lax for medics from Ukraine
coming to the Czech Republic under a government programme to bring in
qualified workers from abroad, Czech Television reported on Sunday. They
are calling for the thorough examination of the Ukrainians’ certificates
and for the imported doctors to undergo local tests.
The Czech Ministry of Health agrees that the Ukrainian doctors’ qualifications should be examined more closely, Czech Television said. However, the ministry has no plans to change the system of examinations or to do away with the scheme, as the Czech doctors groups have demanded.
The Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslák has won the 400 metres at the World
Indoor Athletics Championships for the third time in succession. The
27-year-old had come third in Saturday’s final in the UK’s Birmingham
but was awarded gold when the first and second placed finishers were
Maslák’s compatriot Tomáš Staněk took bronze in the shot put in Birmingham.
A man drowned when the ice gave way while he was skating on a frozen
reservoir in Central Bohemia on Saturday. He was one of a three people who
were skating on the Orlík Dam when the ice broke shortly after 3 pm,
sending all of them into the water. The police managed to save two of them
but could not find the third.
The police have warned people not to go skating on frozen bodies of water in the coming days as temperatures rise after a freezing spell.
The freezing weather the Czech Republic has experienced in recent days is
coming to an end and temperatures could reach up to 15 degrees Celsius at
the end of March, according to a regular monthly forecast issued on
Saturday by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
In the coming fortnight daytime highs of around 6 degrees Celsius are expected, climbing to around 10 degrees Celsius in the second half of the month. It will still be rather cold at night, forecasters say.
Ester Ledecká has won a small Crystal Globe for best rider of the season
in the snowboard parallel giant slalom after coming second in a World Cup
event in Turkey’s Kayseri on Saturday. The Czech recently won Olympic
gold in the event, as well as picking up a shock gold in the super-G in
In La Molina, Spain, Ledecká’s compatriot Eva Samková, who took bronze in snowboard cross in Pyeongchang, won her first World Cup event since the Winter Olympics for her second victory in the series this year.