Czech President and Senate may both nominate former Human Rights Commissioner for Deputy Ombudswoman
Czech President Miloš Zeman has nominated two candidates for the lower house to choose from for the Deputy Ombudswoman post: Lenka Marečková and Monika Šimůnková. The Czech News Agency asked the chair of the commission on elections by the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Martin Kolovratník (Association of Dissatisfied Citizens - ANO) for the names of the nominees.
The Czech Senate is also likely to propose Šimůnková for the post. The next vote to choose the Deputy Ombudswoman will be held during the next session of the lower house, which will begin in mid-October, Kolovratník said.
The vote will be a third attempt to appoint a successor to the current holder of that post; the previous attempts in the spring and summer failed because MPs did not choose any of the nominees. The chair of the commission on elections by the Czech Senate, Jaroslav Větrovský (for ANO) told the Czech News Agency on 1 October that Šimůnková is the only candidate to have been submitted to the Senate commission.
The head of the Christian Democratic group in the Senate, Petr Šilar, submitted her for consideration, according to Větrovský. The Senate commission is currently vetting her and will decide on her nomination at its own session later this month.
As for the President's other nominee, Marečková, she is a Charter 77 signatory with experience working in the state administration - for example, for the Education Ministry, the Justice Ministry, and in the office of the late President Václav Havel. She is currently the head Human Rights Protections Inspector at the Defense Ministry.
From the mid-1980s on, Marečková was a member of many independent initiatives in formerly-socialist Czechoslovakia, such as the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted (Výbor na obranu nespravedlivě stíhaných). As for Šimůnková, she was Human Rights Commissioner during the Nečas administration and also directed the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government.
Šimůnková has also worked for the "Our Child" Foundation (Nadace Naše dítě) and the Czech Helsinki Committee (Český helsinský výbor). Currently she is a member of the Subcommittee on the Rights of the Child at the Czech Government Human Rights Council.
Zeman's nominees for the first and second attempts at a new Deputy Ombudswoman were the incumbent, Stanislav Křeček (a lawyer and former MP for the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) whose term as Deputy Ombudswoman ended this April), and another lawyer and former MP for the ČSSD, Zdeněk Koudelka. The Senate's first-round nominees were the Dean of the Law Faculty at Masaryk University in Brno, Markéta Selucká, and the former Constitutional Court Justice and former Senator Eliška Wagnerová.
The Senate's second-round nominees were Selucká and their own former vice-chair representing the "Mayors" party (Starosty), Jiří Šesták. It was previously reported that Křeček will remain the Deputy Public Defender of Rights (Ombudswoman) until his successor takes the oath of office.
- Czech lower house rejects controversial candidate for Deputy Public Defender of Rights
- Czech lower house to elect new Deputy Public Defender of Rights
- Czech Republic: David Beňák is now Deputy Human Rights Minister, his priority is the law on social enterprises
- Czech Deputy Ombudsman: We cannot treat people as individuals
- Czech lower house elections see 22 groups in the running, no Romani-profiled parties among them
- Czech Pirates sharply criticize bill to toughen criteria for aid to those in material distress
- Assembly against discrimination and racism in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic attended mostly by Romani people
- Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights will investigate controversial police intervention after which Romani community member Stanislav Tomáš died
- Czech town cancels commission for container housing as too costly - which local opposition politicians have argued all along
- Slovakia: Racist politicians launch hateful anti-Romani campaign over state's pandemic benefit for impoverished children
- Commentary: Czech right-wing populists close to destroying lifesaving social protections
- Commentary: Czech amendment to tighten welfare restrictions is just more salt in the wound
- Czech ombudsman criticizes draft Roma Strategy, rejects idea of updating information about compensation for forced sterilizations
- Czech Justice Minister and lawmakers clash over proposed changes to collections proceedings
- Commentary: Czech ombudsman's racist remarks reveal his ignorance of Roma and of history
- Czech lower house sees tussle over President's claims that "Black Lives Matter" is a "racist" slogan