Prague, Dec 7 (CTK) – The Czech Senate has partly replaced the Council of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR) on Thursday, electing former Civic Democrat (ODS) Senate deputy head Jiri Liska, former Social Democrat (CSSD) MP Karel Cerny and Vysoke Myto town museum director Jiri Junek as its new members.

They have replaced Emilie Benesova, the Council’s former chairwoman, Lukas Jelinek, a political scientist, and Michal Uhl, a sociologist, the last mentioned of whom did not seek re-election.

The election results were announced by the Senate election commission head Ludek Jenista (for Mayors and Independents, STAN).

The new members were elected only in the second round of the secret ballot, to which seven candidates advanced.

Junek was supported by 46 out of 63 voting senators, Cerny by 42 and Liska by 33.

Benesova won support from 18 senators only, Jelinek from 15.

Diplomat and former Charter 77 spokesman Martin Palous won 14 votes and philosopher and former Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) senator Daniel Kroupa 11.

The senators voted on the new filling of three seats in the seven-member USTR Council. The candidates had been proposed to it by civic groups and associations.

One seat in the Council has remained vacant since January, when its holder, former Political Prisoners’ Confederation chairwoman Nadezda Kavalirova, died.

In the meantime, the Senate has rejected both candidates to replace her, as proposed by President Milos Zeman. It rejected both writer Lenka Prochazkova and Jazz Section founder Karel Srp.

Srp’s former membership of the Communist Party (KSC) was at variance with requirements for a USTR candidacy.