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Czech Senator Adéla Šípová calls for Stanislav Křeček to resign as Public Defender of Rights

28.6.2022 19:35
Adéla Šípová
Adéla Šípová

Czech Public Defender of Rights Stanislav Křeček is receiving withering criticism for his decision to remove all of the agendas previously assigned to Deputy Public Defender of Rights Monika Šimůnková from her competence - Czech Senator Adéla Šípová (Pirate Party) has called on Křeček to resign, and the RomanoNet umbrella organization has as well. Czech Prime Minister Fiala has said he wants an explanation from Křeček. 

Senator Šípová said: "The Public Defender of Rights and the Deputy Public Defender of Rights are elected by the members of the lower house. Deputy ombudsperson Monika Šimůnková has a strong mandate from those lawmakers. She receives a certain remuneration for her performance and she is meant to work in the citizens' interest. Mr Křeček does not respect these legislators, he has taken the entire agenda away from his deputy. Mr Křeček, resign!"      

The RomanoNet organization, which brings together 11 nonprofit organizations, both pro-Romani and Romani-led, has called on the president of the Chamber of Deputies, MP Markéta Adamová Pekarová, to begin steps leading to the dismissal of Křeček as Public Defender of Rights, which is a rather complex matter. According to the law on the Public Defender of Rights, executing this function is incompatible with any other gainful activity, with the exception of the office holder managing his or her own personal property and activity of an academic, pedagogical, journalistic, literary or artistic nature - as long as such activity is not to the detriment of executing this function and its dignity, and as long as it does not endanger trust in the independent, impartial execution of the office. 

The ombudsman also cannot be a member of a political party or movement. According to Michal Miko, director of RomanoNet, it is the media activity of Křeček that poses a threat to trust in the independence and impartiality of his execution of his function, and the Chamber of Deputies should dismiss him. 

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has written to the Czech News Agency that he does not understand the ombudsman's move. "Once I have returned from abroad I will ask for an explanation. Ms Šimůnková is appreciated for her work by both experts and citizens. That makes this step by the ombudsman all the more surprising to me," the PM wrote.    

Křeček is a graduate of Charles University's Faculty of Law, but at the beginning of the 1970s he had to leave the justice system and instead made his living variously as an artist, geologist, manual laborer and miner; after the transition to democracy in 1989 he became an attorney. In the year 1998, however, it turned out that he had been using the Doctor of Laws title (JUDr.) without authorization, but he later passed the examinations to properly be awarded this title. 

During the normalization era he was a member of the Czechoslovak Socialist Party. From February to June 1990 he was a lawmaker in the Czech National Assembly of Czechoslovakia, and until 1993 he was engaged with both the Democratic Labor Party and the National Socialist Party. 

In April 1993 he became a member of the Czech Social Democratic Party, leaving in 2013 so he could be elected Deputy Public Defender of Rights. He also served a term as a local assembly member for the municipal department of Prague 2. 

Zdeněk Ryšavý, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Monika Šimůnková, Ombudsman, Senát, Stanislav Křeček



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