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Czech ombudsman says cooperation with gov’t good but lengthy

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Brno, Sept 7 (CTK) – The Czech ombudsman’s cooperation with the government has been good but has not been that smooth with parliament, while in Slovakia, the situation is different and the ombudsman has problem promoting his proposals, the two ombudsmen, Anna Sabatova and Marian Torok, said yesterday.

They talked to journalists after a meeting of ombudsmen from the countries of the Visegrad Four Group (V4), which also includes Hungary and Poland.

“We have got a very good communication with the ministries and we have succeeded in pushing through a number of systemic recommendations. As far as the government is concerned, I haven’t got any bad experience. As regards the parliament, some MPs seem to miscomprehend the role of the ombudsman and some of their reactions are rather inappropriate,” Sabatova said.

She also noted that everything takes too long.

Torok complained that the Slovak government and parliament do not respect the office of the ombudsman and view it as bothersome.

The ombudsmen of the V4 countries adopted a declaration that reaffirms the basic objectives and principles of cooperation, stressing the importance of an independent and strong ombudsman.

The ombudsman, or public protector of people’s rights, is nominated by parliament and supervises the rightful work of selected offices in relation to citizens.

As a precaution, ombudsman also attends places where people’s freedom could be limited and sees to it that their fundamental rights are respected.

The ombudsman is supposed to contribute to the enforcement of the right to equal treatment and to the protection against discrimination.

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