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November 22, 2019
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Czech Senate nominates former Human Rights Commissioner for Deputy Ombudswoman role

1.11.2019 6:42
Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková visiting the Romani family who gave birth to the first quintuplets ever delivered in the Czech Republic in 2013.
Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková visiting the Romani family who gave birth to the first quintuplets ever delivered in the Czech Republic in 2013.

On Wednesday the Czech Senate nominated Monika Šimůnková, a lawyer who has previously served as the Czech Government's Human Rights Commissioner, for the post of Deputy Ombudswoman. A total of 67 of the 72 senators present voted for her.

Šimůnková was nominated for the post by the chair of the Christian Democratic club in the Senate, Petr Šilar. The next round of voting to choose a new Deputy Ombudswoman will be the third recent attempt to fill the post.

"I have experience from both the nonprofit sector and the state administration, which I consider to be a certain advantage. However, allow me to say here that I am neither focused completely on activism, nor am I a typical bureaucrat. I do my best to distinguish what the concrete specifics are of a problem and to solve it in line with the nature of those specifics," Šimůnková told the Senate, adding that the late Otakar Motejl, who was the Czech Republic's first-ever ombudsman, should be the role model for anybody running for the position.

Šimůnková was Human Rights Commissioner during the Government of Czech PM Petr Nečas and managed the Human Rights Section at the Office of the Government. She has also worked for the "Our Child" Foundation (Nadaci Naše dítě) and for the Czech Helsinki Committee.

Currently Šimůnková is a member of the Czech Government Human Rights Council's Sub-Committee on the Rights of the Child. The upcoming vote to appoint a new Deputy Ombudswoman will be the third attempt to fill the post.

Czech President Zeman nominated the incumbent Deputy Ombudswoman, the lawyer and former Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) MP Stanislav Křeček, as a candidate during both the first and second rounds of voting, as well as another lawyer and former ČSSD MP, Zdeněk Koudelka. The Czech Senate's first nominees were the lawyer Markéta Selucká and the former Constitutional Court justice and Senator, Eliška Wagnerová.

The Czech Senate again nominated Selucka for the second attempt to appoint a new Deputy Ombudswoman as well as its own former vice-president for the "Mayors" party, Jiří Šesták. The Ombudswoman's spokesperson previously explained that Křeček is remaining in the role of Deputy Ombudswoman until the new Deputy takes the oath of office.

SB, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Monika Šimůnková, Ombud, Senát, Zmocněnec



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