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Lower house immunity committee elects Communist MP its head

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Prague, Nov 22 (CTK) – The Czech Chamber of Deputies’ mandate and immunity committee elected Stanislav Grospic (Communists, KSCM) its chairman on Wednesday, preferring him to the rival candidate Petr Gazdik (Mayors and Independents, STAN) on Wednesday, and the plenary session eventually confirmed the choice.

The committee was established by the Chamber’s plenary session this morning. It has 19 members and all parties are represented in it based on the proportional principle.

In its vote later on Wednesday, it elected Grospic as its chairman by the votes of 11 members, all deputies for ANO, the winner of the October general election, and the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement and the KSCM.

Out of the committee’s remaining eight members representing other parties, seven supported Gazdik and one, a Social Democrat (CSSD), abstained from the vote.

Gazdik was supported by deputies for the Civic Democrats (ODS), the Pirates, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09 and STAN.

“I am very glad that the nascent majority in the Chamber has become clear. The majority will consist of ANO, the SPD and the KSCM, which is evident based on the result of the mandate and immunity committee’s vote,” Gazdik said.

One of the first points on the committee’s agenda will be the assessment of the police request for releasing ANO chairman Andrej Babis and his deputy Jaroslav Faltynek for prosecution on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud.

The committee will decide on whether to recommend the Chamber of Deputies to release the two.

Gazdik said the majority in the committee that elected Grospic its chairman on Wednesday, might prevent the release of Babis and Faltynek.

Later on Wednesday, the rightist opposition protested against the election of Grospic at the Chamber’s plenary session.

Labelling Grospic “a Stalinist,” ODS deputies’ group Zbynek Stanjura mentioned some of Grospic’s past statements and said he who would support Grospic must feel ashamed.

KSCM deputies’ group head Pavel Kovacik protested saying such labelling means spitting in the face of the people who voted for Grospic in elections.

TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek said labelling Grospic a Stalinist means stating a fact, not challenging Grospic’s mandate of a deputy.

The constituent session of the Chamber of Deputies started on November 20, one month after the general election.

On the same day, all deputies took their oath, except for Jiri Dolejs (KSCM), who was attending a congress of the Brazilian Communist Party. Returning in the meantime, Dolejs took his oath of a deputy on Wednesday and the Chamber is thus complete.

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