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Communist MP Ondráček not to head GIBS committee

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Prague, Jan 17 (CTK) – Communist (KSCM) deputy Zdenek Ondracek will not head the Czech Chamber of Deputies’ commission supervising the General Inspection of Security Forces (GIBS), as he was not elected to the post in MPs’ repeated vote on Wednesday.

The outcome of the vote was announced by Martin Kolovratnik (ANO), chairman of the Chamber’s election committee.

A new election will take place, in which parties in parliament can propose new candidates. Its date is yet to be set.

In the 200-seat Chamber, 186 deputies took over their ballot papers, which, however, were finally cast by only 128 of them.

To be elected, Ondracek needed at least 94 deputies’ votes, but gained only 83.

Ondracek’s nomination as head of the commission for GIBS raised a controversy due to his service as a police officer under the communist regime.

These days, 29 years have elapsed since a series of anti-communist protests in Prague, during which Ondracek was among the raid police units intervening among the demonstrators.

Shortly before Christmas, the Chamber of Deputies elected Ondracek head of the commission for GIBS, but the Chamber’s chairman, Radek Vondracek (ANO), subsequently annulled the step over a suspected procedural mistake.

Parties in parliament previously agreed to offer the post to the KSCM. Ondracek is the KSCM’s only representative in the commission for GIBS. If the KSCM wanted to propose another candidate, it would have to replace him in the commission with another KSCM lawmaker.

Most opposition parties welcomed Ondracek’s failure in the vote on Wednesday, while KSCM chairman Vojtech Filip spoke about a breach of agreements between parties in parliament.

He said the KSCM will consider whether to seek chairmanship of another of the lower house’s control commissions.

The Pirates took over their ballot papers before the vote but did not cast them, their chairman Ivan Bartos told journalists.

He said Ondracek was unacceptable for the Pirates due to his past as a communist police intervening against students.

“He has never expressed regret at it, nor has he reassessed his behaviour,” Bartos said.

The Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) deputies did not cast their ballots either, in protest against the nomination of Ondracek, KDU-CSL deputies’ group head Jan Bartosek said.

“The police should be supervised by an independent person, who did not help the totalitarian regime,” Bartosek said, adding that the commission chairmanship should go to a representative of a democratic party.

TOP 09 deputy chairwoman Marketa Pekarova Adamova, too, hailed the failure of Ondracek, whose election would have meant huge disrespect for the Prague demonstrators of 1989.

Both Ondracek and the KSCM lack any self-reflection, they have never distanced themselves from the violent suppression of demonstrations, Pekarova Adamova said.

Social Democrat (CSSD) deputies’ group chairman Jan Chvojka said he expected Ondracek’s failure in the election. The CSSD believes that the KSCM will not nominate Ondracek to the post any more.

Filip said the KSCM considers Ondracek’s failure a breach of parties’ agreements. The KSCM will discuss it and draw political consequences towards parties in parliament, he said, without anticipating the steps his party might take.

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