Former Czech ombudswoman running for Senate on a platform of justice, in the broadest possible sense
Former Czech Public Defender of Rights Anna Šabatová announced last week she is running for the Senate from the Brno-město precinct (no. 60) this autumn as an independent. Her candidacy is supported by the Greens (Zelení), the Idealists (Idealisté) and the Senator 21 movement (Senátor 21).
If Šabatová succeeds, she wants to focus on justice, on the protection of life, and on care for those who are disabled, elderly, or ill. She said the decision to run had been difficult.
"I am running because I feel we have found ourselves in a breakthrough period, a season of fundamental social change," she said. "I therefore want to offer my lifelong professional and personal experience and to help ensure these changes do not jeopardize human freedoms and dignity, that they are sensitive to people and to nature."
Prior to the 1989 Velvet Revolution Šabatová was a dissident and was among the first to sign the Charter 77 declaration, becoming spokesperson for the group in 1986; from 1978 to 1990 she was a member of the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted (Výbor na obranu nespravedlivě stíhaných), of which she was a co-founder, and she contributed to publishing the "Information about Charter 77" periodical (Informace o Chartě 77). She is the daughter of political scientist Jaroslav Šabata and the wife of the journalist and politician Petr Uhl; they have three children.
When announcing her candidacy, Šabatová said justice had been the subject of her life. "I mean that in all dimensions, not just judicially," she said.
"There is also justice in society, social justice, climate justice," the Senate candidate said. She also said she considers protecting life to be important.
"I don't say protecting the environment, but life, because we are experiencing both a lack of water and the drying up of our forests," she said. If elected, she would also focus on the social arena.
"For me, this is associated with the question of fundamental rights and freedoms and with the democratic legal order, the rule of law. The subject I am personally interested in is caring for those who are not as well off as the rest of us," she said.
"By that I mean people living with illnesses, with disabilities or elderly people," the candidate said. If elected Senator, she would join the club of Senátor 21, as the Greens do not have their own club in the upper house.
Michal Berg, co-chair of the Greens, said it is necessary to address the ongoing climate crisis, economic crisis, and medical crisis. "We need people who are aware of the importance of addressing these crises, who will keep an eye on whether measures are having a fair impact on all of us and whether some groups of people are not forced to bear the brunt of these crises for others," Berg said.
Current Czech Senator Zdeněk Papoušek (for the Christian Democrats, KDU-ČSL) will not defend his post representing Brno. The Christian Democrats will run Tomáš Tomáš, the Head of the First Orthopedic Clinic of St. Anne's University Hospital in Brno, for the Senate seat.
The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) will run the former director of the Brno University Hospital, Roman Kraus, who is also supported by TOP 09. The ANO (Association of Dissatisfied Citizens) candidate will be the MP and former Rector of the Technical University (Vysoké učení technického), Karel Rais, the Pirate Party will run party founder Jiří Kadeřávek, the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party is running the special school director Tomáš Anderle, and Tricolor (Trikolóra) is running the attorney Richard Novák.
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