Romani politician Cyril Koky: Stanislav Křeček as Czech ombudsman would be absurd and ridiculous
According to Cyril Koky, the expert official on national minoriites at the Central Bohemian Regional Authority who is running for the Czech Senate as a candidate of the Pirate Party in Kolín, Czech President Zeman's nomination of Stanislav Křeček as a candidate for the next Public Defender of Rights (ombudsman) is absurd and ridiculous. Koky posted his opinion to his Facebook profile.
Zeman had first nominated Czech MP Helena Válková (Association of Dissatisfied Citizens - ANO), who is also the current Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner and a former Justice Minister, but she declined the nomination after it came to light that in the late 1970s she had co-authored a criminological journal article with the former communist prosecutor Josef Urválek, who had prosecuted the show trials of Milada Horáková and Rudolf Slánský in the 1950s, both of whom were subsequently executed. Another candidate could be Czech MP Kateřina Valachová (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD), but Zeman was said to have decided on former Deputy Public Defender of Rights Křeček on Tuesday.
"When assessing potential candidates for the Public Defender of Rights position, the essential criteria should especially be the expertise and quality of the nominated figures, not who is whose friend. To accept the President's nomination for the position of Public Defender of Rights at the age of 81 seems both absurd and ridiculous to me. Please understand, under no circumstances am I taunting anybody here, we all will be old one day, but one should have a bit of common sense, after all, and make way for people who are more efficient, who are younger," Koky said.
According to Křeček, however, his age is no barrier. "It's not an obstacle if one feels well. I publish one article a week, so I decidedly am not out of touch with reality. Until recently I performed the job of Deputy ombudsman," he said in an interview for public broadcaster Czech Radio's Radiožurnál station.
Křeček also said he had not anticipated being nominated for the ombudsman post. "I was greatly surprised. I no longer counted on anything of the sort, I moved away from Brno long ago, I've arranged a different life for myself," he told Radiožurnál.
In that same interview, Křeček then said that compared to the outgoing Public Defender of Rights, Anna Šabatová, his approach to the office would be less "nonprofit-ish". "My attitude toward that authority would be somewhat different, less 'nonprofit-ish', I would rather consider it a state authority that is meant to review the activities of other authorities and not introduce my own ideological notions about discrimination and such, for example," he said.
Šabatová's six-year term ends on 18 February. The Chamber of Deputies will choose a new Public Defender of Rights by 12 February at the earliest.
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