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Czech PM may nominate Deputy Human Rights Minister as new Education Minister

4.6.2015 17:38
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, chair of the Czech Social Democratic Party (PHOTO: ČSSD)
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, chair of the Czech Social Democratic Party (PHOTO: ČSSD)

Kateřina Valachová, Deputy Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation, may become a candidate for the next Czech Education Minister. Several sources close to Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka (ČSSD) said today that he is ready to propose a female candidate to replace outgoing EdMin Marcel Chládek (ČSSD).  

Valachová, according to these sources, now remains the only female candidate available. Sobotka has not yet confirmed the information.

"I will not comment on any speculations. I will first familiarize the President of the Republic with the name of the candidate," he wrote to the Czech News Agency.

Sobotka will meet Czech President Miloš Zeman on the afternoon of Friday, 5 June, to discuss the appointment. Even though the original talk was of many different candidates for the ministerial post, Sobotka is said to have been deciding recently primarily between two candidates - Vice-Rector of Charles University Stanislav Štech and Valachová.    

Should Valachová be appointed, she would be the ČSSD's second woman in the current cabinet. The party has long advocated for greater representation of women in political life.

Sobotka intends to dismiss Chládek because in his view the current minister does not fulfill the strict requirements for holding office. He proposed his removal at the end of last week in relation to the EdMin's alleged bullying of employees at the ministry.  

Chládek denies the allegations and blames Vice-PM Andrej Babiš, the head of the ANO movement, as being behind what he views as an attack on his person. He is scheduled to meet with the President today to discuss the matter; Zeman has not yet said whether and when he might accept the proposal for the minister to be dismissed.

Valachová (age 38) has previously worked for the Office of the Czech Senate, for the Public Defender of Rights (the ombud), and for the City of Brno.  She graduated in law from Masaryk University in Brno in 2001 and completed the doctoral program in administrative law there in 2006.

Since February 2014 she has worked as a deputy to Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jiří Dienstbier and as director of the Government's Legislative Council Section. She specializes in administrative and Constitutional law.  

Earlier this year Valachová was appointed to the selection commission tasked with choosing a deputy minister for the civil service agenda. In her role as deputy she also contributed to drafting the country's new law on civil service.

From 2004-2014 she was a member of the Czech Government Human Rights Council's committee. She was also an external instructor from 2006-2014 at the Law Department of Masaryk University and speaks English and German. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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