published: 04.03.2013, 21:19 | updated: 04.03.2013 21:27:03
Prague - Czech president-elect Milos Zeman considers today´s decision by the Senate to impeach the incumbent President Vaclav Klaus for high treason a hysterical reaction, he said in a statement his spokeswoman released to CTK.
If he were in the place of the senators, Zeman said he would rather strive for the Constitutional Court (US) to scrap Klaus´s controversial New Year amnesty as a whole or, which seems more realistic, to scrap its Article 2 that halts long-lasting criminal proceedings.
Zeman, who has criticised Klaus´s amnesty from the beginning, recently praised those senators for the senior opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) who did not join their colleagues´ proposal that the Senate file high treason charges against Klaus with the Constitutional Court (US).
The CSSD-dominated Senate decided on filing the charges by votes of 38 of 68 senators present at an extraordinary session today.
The complaint´s initiators insist that the Senate must work as a "safeguard" and challenge the violation and non-observance of the constitution by Klaus, also in connection with the amnesty.
They say Klaus´s amnesty, which halted the prosecution of a number of suspected large-scale thieves and fraudsters, has thwarted the Czech judiciary´s efforts and undermined people´s confidence in justice.
They also reproach Klaus for having refused to sign some treaties and for his reluctance to appoint judges.
If the US complied with the impeachment charges, Klaus would be unseated as president. However, his presidential mandate expires on Thursday. On Friday, Zeman will replace him in the post.
The US expects to deal with the Senate´s proposal until the end of March.
"I consider it a hysterical reaction because high treason is an exactly defined term to which amnesty simply does not correspond," Zeman said.
Rather than impeaching Klaus, Zeman said he would seek the scrapping of the amnesty or at least of its most controversial article that halts the cases of prosecution if it lasted more than eight years and the suspects faced ten years prison at the most.
The US has been dealing with the proposal by a group of senators that the amnesty´s Article 2 be abolished.
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