published: 06.02.2014, 13:39 | updated: 06.02.2014 15:00:07
Prague - Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) Jan Bartosek was elected new deputy chairman of the lower house of Czech parliament today, replacing KDU-CSL chairman Pavel Belobradek who gave up the post after he was appointed deputy prime minister.
Bartosek was elected by secret ballot. There was no other candidate for the post.
Bartosek, 42, is KDU-CSL deputy head and a newcomer to parliament, elected to parliament in October 2013 for the first time. He was a local politician and worked as a therapist working with addicts.
The lower house is headed by Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) who has four deputies: Jaroslava Jermanova (government ANO), Vojtech Filip (opposition Communists, KSCM), Petr Gazdik (opposition TOP 09) and Bartosek.
The lower house leadership headed by Hamacek was elected last autumn.
ODS wants KSCM head to be sacked as lawmakers´ deputy head
The Czech opposition Civic Democrats (ODS) proposed today that Communists (KSCM) chairman Vojtech Filip be dismissed as Chamber of Deputies deputy head over his statement about the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Filip, reacting to the death of Vasil Bilak who signed a letter of five Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC) officials who asked the Soviet army to suppress the Prague Spring reform movement in 1968, wrote that "the present time has various views of this invitation."
Bilak, secretary of the KSC and chief party ideologist in 1968-1988, died today aged 96.
Miroslava Nemcova (ODS), former Chamber of Deputies deputy chairwoman, said she will demand that "the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and the Christian Democratic Party (KDU-CSL), two democratic parties, take a stand on this statement. I will propose that these two parties join our proposal to dismiss Vojtech Filip as Chamber of Deputies deputy chairman," Nemcova said.
The CSSD, KDU-CSL and the ANO movement constitute the current government.
Nemcova said a person who defends the occupation cannot be deputy chairman of a democratic parliament.
She said she wants to try to add the vote on Filip's dismissal to the agenda of the Chamber of Deputies' session on Friday or on Tuesday.
However, the CSSD will not back the proposal.
"Naturally, I disagree with the defence of Bilak's role, but this is no reason for any changes in the leadership of the Chamber of Deputies that reflects the results of elections, which is in order," CSSD leader, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said.
Filip's statement represents the well-known Communist hard-liners' view of the 1968 events that is still advocated by a part of Czech Communists, he added.
"I think that Bilak was a criminal because inviting the occupation troops was a crime and high treason," KDU-CSL leader Pavel Belobradek said.
"On the other hand, I believe that the situation in the Chamber of Deputies will not allow his dismissal," Belobradek said.
He said the group would have to discuss the possible vote, but he did not presume that any of the Christian Democrats would back a Communist in the leadership of the lower house of the parliament.
Bilak was the last surviving signatory of the "letter of invitation" that officially justified the military invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Filip wrote in his reaction to Bilak's death: "In connection with Vasil Bilka's historical role, it must be said it is not possible to change history and it is undeniable that he was one of the initiators of the invitation of the Soviet troops. The present time has various views of this invitation."
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