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Czech MPs fail to choose new ombud in first round, second vote tomorrow

Prague, 13.2.2014 21:38, (ROMEA)
Stanislav Křeček and Anna Šabatová competed against one another for the post of ombud on 13 February 2014. She won and he became her deputy. (Collage:  Romea.cz)
Stanislav Křeček and Anna Šabatová competed against one another for the post of ombud on 13 February 2014. She won and he became her deputy. (Collage: Romea.cz)

Czech MPs failed to elected a new Public Defender of Rights (ombud) today. Neither the current Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Stanislav Křeček, nor the former Deputy Public Defender of Rights, Anna Šabatová, has received enough votes during today's first round of secret voting.    

Both candidates made it into the second round, which should take place tomorrow afternoon, according to the chair of the lower house voting commission, Martin Kolovratník (ANO). A total of 155 MPs cast votes during the first round today.

Šabatová received 61 votes, Křeček 44. A total of 78 votes is needed to elect the new ombud. 

Kolovratník said the inclusion of the second round of voting on the agenda of the lower house tomorrow afternoon will be decided tomorrow morning when MPs are able to change the program for the session. The position of the Public Defender of Rights has not been occupied since December, when Pavel Varvařovský resigned.  

Křeček, a former MP with the Czech Social Democrats, has been proposed for ombud by Czech President Miloš Zeman and by the Senate. Šabatová has also been proposed by the Senate. 

In her nomination speech, Šabatová told MPs she would intensify collaboration between the Public Defender of Rights and the public administration. Křeček's speech focused on human rights.  

If neither candidate succeeds during the second round of voting, the law states that new elections must be held within 60 days. The President and Senate would propose their preferred candidates once more.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Anna Šabatová, Ombudsman, Poslanecká sněmovna, prezident



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