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December 5, 2019
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Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights is now Monika Šimůnková, a former Human Rights Commissioner

28.11.2019 6:31
Monika Šimůnková, now the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, was Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner from 2011-2013  (Source: www.vlada.cz)
Monika Šimůnková, now the Deputy Public Defender of Rights, was Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner from 2011-2013 (Source: www.vlada.cz)

Monika Šimůnková was elected the Deputy Public Defender of Rights yesterday. She previously served as the Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner from 2011-2013.

The Chamber of Deputies has elected her to the position after she was nominated by both Czech President Miloš Zeman and the Senate. In a secret ballot, the lower house chose Šimůnková over another of Zeman's candidates, the lawyer Lenka Marečková.

Šimůnková received 89 votes out of 173, two more than necessary to be appointed. Marečková got 29 votes, according to the chair of the voting commission in the lower house, Czech MP Martin Kolovratník (Association of Dissatisfied Citizens - ANO).

From 2011-2013 Šimůnková served as Human Rights Commissioner under the Government of Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas and directed the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government. She has also worked in the NGO sector for the Czech Helsinki Committee and the "Our Child" Foundation (Nadace Naše dítě).

Currently Šimůnková is a volunteer member of the Committee on the Rights of the Child at the Czech Government Human Rights Council. As for Marečková, she is a Charter 77 signatory who has worked at the Justice Ministry, the Education Ministry, and for Czech President Václav Havel.

Currently Marečková is Chief Inspector of Human Rights Protection at the Czech Defense Ministry. The lower house has now finally appointed a Deputy Public Defender of Rights after two failed attempts to do so this spring and summer.

Zeman first re-nominated the outgoing Deputy Public Defender of Rights, the lawyer and former Czech MP Stanislav Křeček (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) to the post in April, along with another former ČSSD MP and lawyer, Zdeněk Koudelka, as the alternate candidate. The Senate sent the lawyer Markéta Selucká and the former Constitutional Court Justice and Senator Eliška Wagnerová as their first candidates.

For the second attempt, the upper chamber nominated Selucká again, as well as the former Senate Vice-Chair for the "Mayors" party, Jiří Šesták. Křeček will remain in the Deputy Public Defender of Rights post until his successor takes her oath of office, according to a spokesperson for the Public Defender of Rights.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Lidská práva, Ombudsman, Osobnosti, Šimůnková Monika



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