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Hamáček to be lower house first deputy head

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Prague, Nov 26 (CTK) – New Czech Chamber of Deputies chairman Radek Vondracek (ANO) plans to name Social Democrat (CSSD) Jan Hamacek his statutory deputy on the basis of his experience and professional qualities, Vondracek said in a debate programme on public Czech TV on Sunday.

Hamacek headed the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, in the previous election term.

Vondracek also said Communist (KSCM) chairman Vojtech Filip, who was re-elected lower house deputy head, would probably remain in charge of the foreign policy agenda in the Chamber of Deputies.

On Friday, MPs also elected Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) chairman Tomio Okamura and Vojtech Pikal (Pirates) lower house deputy heads, while Civic Democrat (ODS) ODS chairman Petr Fiala was not elected even in the second round.

Vondracek told CT that he was convinced that 8the ODS as the second strongest party in the lower house had the right to the post of its deputy chairperson. He said “unfortunate communication” had caused that Fiala had not been elected on Friday.

Fiala reiterated that a “voting” majority of the winning ANO movement, the SPD and KSCM, ruling the Chamber of Deputies, had not voted for him.

Nevertheless, Fiala will run again with support of the Democratic Bloc, an alliance of four rightist and centrist parties in Chamber of Deputies – the ODS, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09 and the Mayors and Independents (STAN) movement.

Vondracek also said on Sunday the Chamber of Deputies should take the country’s interests into consideration in its decision-making on the police request for the release of ANO chairman Andrej Babis for criminal prosecution as he would be the next prime minister.

The Chamber of Deputies has received another police request for the release of Babis and ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek for prosecution on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud. They were releases by the previous lower house, but as both were re-elected, MPs will have to decide on this again.

The Chamber of Deputies received on Friday a police request for release of ODS MP and former Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda for prosecution in the case of the allegedly overpriced Opencard smart card for Praguers, Vondracek confirmed on Sunday.

He added that the request had been sent to the mandate and immunity committee.

The Chamber of Deputies released Svoboda in 2014 also in connection with Opencard. He was given suspended sentence for breach of trust in this case and appealed the verdict.

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