published: 29.10.2013, 20:40 | updated: 29.10.2013 20:46:27
Prague - Archivist Emilie Benesova, a member of the Council of the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (USTR), was elected the Council head today, replacing Petruska Sustrova whose five-year mandate expired.
The Council elected Benesova by a majority of votes,
Under the relevant law, the USTR´s task is to do unbiased research into the periods of Nazism and Communism.
Benesova, born 1957, has been a member of the USTR Council since 2012 when she was elected to the post by the Senate, the upper house of parliament.
She works in the National Archive as head of the photo, film and audio department. She specialises in safety scanning of archive materials and in digitisation.
Benesova graduated from Charles University´s Faculty of Arts, majoring in archive science and history.
"The Council´s task is to navigate the USTR in a way to make it a respected institution and to make all documents in the Security Forces Archive accessible [to the public]," Benesova said after her election today.
After Sustrova´s departure, the USTR´s seven-seat Council will be left with five members. Its new members will be elected by the Chamber of Deputies.
Benesova was among the critics of Daniel Herman, whom the Council dismissed as USTR director earlier this year, citing dissatisfaction with his performance.
The then senior ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS) accused the opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) of using Sustrova and their other allies in the USTR Council to sack Herman and trying to take control of the USTR, which the Council and the CSSD resolutely dismissed.
Disputes between left and right-wing politicians and tension inside the USTR have accompanied the USTR, which manages the Security Forces Archive, among others, since its establishment in 2008.
After Herman, the USTR´s acting director is Pavla Foglova. A tender for a new regular director is underway.
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