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TOP 09 to complain against president defamation law

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Prague, Nov 20 (CTK) – The opposition right-wing TOP 09 would file a complaint against the reinstatement of a president defamation bill with the Constitutional Court if parliament approved it, is head Miroslav Kalousek said in the Questions of Vaclav Moravec programme on public Czech TV yesterday.
Kalousek at the same time expressed conviction that the bill would not be passed.
“According to our constitutional experts, the law would probably be at variance with the constitution,” said Kalousek.
If it were passed, his party would file a constitutional complaint, he added.
Government ANO deputy group head Jaroslav Faltynek also criticised the proposed bill in the TV debate. He said it would restrict the freedom of speech, guaranteed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, and this is why it would be anti-constitutional.
The proposal that the law on public defamation of the president be returned to the criminal code was signed by more than 60 lawmakers of the government Social Democrats (CSSD) and the ANO movement and the opposition Communists (KSCM) and Dawn.
However, some CSSD and ANO deputes withdrew their signatures or were considering doing so after PM and CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka and the ANO leadership distanced themselves from the proposal.
If the crime of defamation of the president were committed, this would be punishable with up to a 12-month prison term.
Both Kalousek and Faltynek said they were convinced that the bill would not be approved.
Kalousek also said this draft legislation would follow up the previously approved law enabling to fine an insult to officials. Both pieces of legislation strengthen “the authoritarian manners of the state,” he added.

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