Thursday, 13 December 2018

MPs establish commissions amid protests by ANO's opponents

ČTK |
29 November 2017

Prague, Nov 28 (CTK) - The Czech Chamber of Deputies established its control and other commissions on Tuesday, with lineups based on parties' proportional representation, a system that was pushed through by ANO, the SPD and the Communists (KSCM), while others wanted each party to have one seat in each commission.

A total of 11 commissions were established, three more than in the previous election term.

Out of the three additional commissions, the establishment of two was mandatory, required by new laws. The third one was founded at the initiative of the KSCM.

Within the disputes accompanying the commissions' establishment, Social Democrats (CSSD) deputies' group head Jan Chvojka mentioned the one-party cabinet planned by the election-winning ANO movement.

"Parties' proportional representation in controlling commissions is undesirable in a situation where a one-party, one-man government is emerging," Chvojka said.

Chvojka's counterparts from the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and the Christian Democratic Union (KDU-CSL), Zbynek Stanjura and Jan Bartosek, criticised what they called a [never admitted but still] functioning "voting coalition" of ANO, the Freedom and Democracy (SPD) and the KSCM."

ANO, the SPD and the KSCM protested against this interpretation of things. SPD's Radim Fiala said they respected the proportional representation principle.

Leo Luzar (KSCM) said there is a difference between parties' joint steps and coordinated steps.

ANO's Jaroslav Faltynek said ANO will not fill any of the seats of the commissions' chairpersons.

The commissions controlling the General Inspection of Police Corps (GIBS), the use of police wiretapping and the release of data from central registry of accounts will have 10 members each.

The other commissions will have seven members in accordance with law. However, there are nine parties in the Chamber of Deputies.

The seven-member commissions are in charge of controlling the counter-intelligence service BIS, the National Security Office (NBU), the military intelligence VZ, the Financial Analytical Office (FAU) and the National Office for Cyber and Information Security, respectively.

Stanjura said the proportional representation means that ANO will occupy 40 percent of seats in these commissions.

Chvojka said he will propose an amendment enabling to extend the number of the commissions' members.

Faltynek stressed that all nine parties in parliament will be represented in the 10-member commissions.

Like in the pervious term, the Chamber established a commission for the work of the lower house office and a commission for the family, equal opportunities and ethnic minorities, each with 18 members.

The KSCM pushed through the establishment of a new commission for changes to the constitution, in which each of the nine parties in the Chamber will have two seats.

The commissions for the supervision of the release of data from the central registry of accounts and of the National Office for Cyber and Information Security are also new, their establishment being required by new laws.

In the same way, the Chamber will soon be obliged establish a commission for the supervision of the civilian intelligence service UZSI.

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