Prague - Former Czech president Vaclav Klaus is against the abolition of the lustration law which is talked about in connection with the candidacy of ANO chairman Andrej Babis for the post of finance minister, Klaus told journalists today.
Babis allegedly collaborated with the communist StB secret police in Slovakia, which would prevent his appointment as minister of the emerging coalition government led by Social Democrats (CSSD) and also comprising Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL).
Babis dismisses the allegation and he sues the Slovak National Memory Institute (UPN).
The lustration laws from 1991 bar former secret police (StB) agents and collaborators, Communist Party (KSC) high-ranking officials and members of the KSC para-military People's Militia from holding high posts in the civil service, the judiciary, the military and other spheres.
"We have the lustration law. I am against it being taken down and liquidated in any way," Klaus said.
The interim government of Jiri Rusnok rejected the Communists´ attempt to abolish the lustration law in mid-December. The Communists say the law is no longer relevant.
The future government coalition is trying to push through a draft amendment to the civil service law. It does not require a clean lustration certificate from government members.
The KDU-CSL, however, wants the new legislation to prevent former StB collaborators from participating in government, but ANO and the CSSD are against this.
President Milos Zeman has said he would appoint Babis even without a clean lustration certificate if the amended civil service law passes through the first reading in the Chamber of Deputies.
Czech President should keep right to appoint professors - Klaus
Former Czech president Klaus considers it a mistake that his successor Milos Zeman will lose the opportunity to appoint professors, under a draft amendment the outgoing government approved on Wednesday, Klaus said when launching a new publication of his institute.
A change to the practice was agreed by Zeman and then education minister Petr Fiala after last year's dispute about the appointment of literary historian Martin Putna.
Zeman refused to appoint Putna, who openly declared his homosexual orientation, as professor allegedly due to the latter's participation in the Prague Pride gay march.
Under the government-approved draft amendment, the Senate chairperson should appoint university professors.
Klaus said today the dispute about appointing one professor should not be a reason to change legislative habits.
"I think that it is a mistake. As long as the appointment of professors remains in the hands of the state, then it should be done by the president," Klaus said.
He said he himself considered the act an important part of his duties.
The draft amendment the government approved will now go to the Chamber of Deputies.
University rectors have sharply protested against the amendment, saying it was not discussed with universities´ representatives.
The amendment is to set the process of appointing professors moving again after it got stuck over the Putna dispute.