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Incoming Czech Human Rights Minister meets with Czech President, says human rights belong to everybody

23.11.2016 19:25
Jan Chvojka (PHOTO:  Czech Television)
Jan Chvojka (PHOTO: Czech Television)

Incoming Czech Minister for Human Rights and Legislation Jan Chvojka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) met with Czech President Miloš Zeman at Prague Castle yesterday. The two officials debated human rights and an amendment to the law on conflict of interest that includes sections being referred to as the "Lex Babiš" after the current Czech Finance Minister.

Chvojka is replacing outgoing Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier and told the press that he would like to do many things differently than his predecessor. "The fundamental thesis is that I have the same opinion as the President, which is that human rights belong to everyone, regardless of ethnicity or gender, and it is necessary to treat every human being equally without drawing distinctions. That is how I would like to lead my office," Chvojka said.

The incoming minister said he would wait to say which specific matters he wants to focus on after taking office next Wednesday. He also said the amendment to the law on conflict of interest was the only law that he reviewed with the President in detail.

The amendment includes restrictions on members of Government doing business that would affect Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, chair of the ANO movement. "The President gave me his opinion and I told him mine," Chvojka informed the press.

The amendment was to be reviewed Wednesday by the heads of the coalition parties prior to be assessed again by the lower house. Chvojka told the press that he wants to remain an MP but will give up his assembly seat in Chrudim, and also mentioned addressing the problem of excluded localities.

"I think it would be good to focus on people in the excluded localities working and children attending school. That would improve their standard of living," he said.

The other person to discuss issues with the President yesterday was the director of Motol Hospital, Miloslav Ludvík. He is heading to the cabinet to replace outgoing Czech Health Minister Svatopluk Němeček (both are ČSSD).

Yesterday Zeman officially dismissed both Dienstbier and Němeček at the suggestion of Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (ČSSD), effective as of 30 November. The Czech News Agency reports that both incoming ministers have already signed their appointments.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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ministr pro lidská práva, Vláda, Zeman, ČSSD



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