Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Opposition should head security commissions, parties agree

ČTK |
9 November 2017

Prague, Nov 8 (CTK) - All parties in the Czech lower house should be represented in its significant committees and controlling commissions, while the opposition should head the commissions supervising security forces, the parties agreed during their round-table debate on Wednesday.

The meeting was convoked by Ivan Bartos, leader of the Pirates, and also attended by the Civic Democrats (ODS), TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents (STAN).

Bartos told reporters after the meeting that the number of members in the committees and commissions should be raised to include representatives of all nine parties that had entered the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, in the October 20-21 general election.

However, the winning ANO is not considering increasing the committee members' number, Jan Vondracek, ANO's nominee for the Chamber of Deputies chairman, said.

Vondracek reiterated that ANO was offering the leadership of the mandate and immunity committee to the parties, but no one was interested in the post since they had other priorities.

STAN deputy chairman Vit Rakusan said all parties should be represented in the committees and commissions that meet behind the closed doors so that all parties had the information.

Those are the election commission and the mandate and immunity and security committees.

Rakusan also stressed that the membership of a committee or a commission was unpaid so the rise in the number of their members could not raise the costs.

Moreover, the opposition should head controlling commissions, such as that supervising the General Inspection of Security Corps (GIBS), while all parties should have members in them, the party representatives agreed on Wednesday.

TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek again presented his rejected proposal to prevent the formation of an ANO minority cabinet by failing to elect the chairman of the lower house, thus blocking its operation.

Kalousek also informed the other parties that TOP 09 would propose its former chairman and ex-foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, doyen in the Chamber of Deputies, for head of the foreign committee.

The ODS asked the parties to support its chairman Petr Fiala as the candidate for the lower house head at the meeting, ODS deputy group head Zbynek Stanjura said.

Bartos said his party would debate this at the next meeting of its deputy group. However, the Pirates previously claimed they would support Vondracek's candidacy.

Bartos also said he believed that the parties, including those that abstained from Wednesday's talks, would also debate the division of controlling committees among them at their new meeting to be held possibly by the end of this week.

Andrej Babis's ANO won the recent general election with 29.6 percent, followed by the ODS with 11.3 percent, the Pirates with 10.8 percent of the vote, the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) of Tomio Okamura with 10.6 percent, the Communists (KSCM) with 7.8 percent, the Social Democrats (CSSD) with 7.3 percent, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) with 5.8 percent, TOP 09 with 5.3 percent and STAN with 5.2 percent.

ANO will have 78 seats in the 200-seat lower house, the ODS 25, the SPD and the Pirates 22 each, the KSCM and the CSSD 15 each, the KDU-CSL ten, TOP 09 seven and STAN six.

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