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Prague – If the changes in the selection of councilors of Czech Television (ČT) and Czech Radio (ČRo) are accepted in their proposed form, the opposition movement ANO will turn to the European Commission and the Constitutional Court, Jaroslava Pokorná Jermanová (ANO) announced during today's parliamentary approval of the government proposal . Minister of Culture Martin Baxa (ODS) pointed out that the amendment underwent modifications according to the comments of the Legislative Council of the Government and the council did not identify any other unconstitutional features.
The Minister of Culture dwelled on the fact that Pokorná Jermanová had not raised legal objections earlier. “I accept that you have kept this heavy caliber, including that the ANO movement will file a constitutional complaint against the unconstitutionality of the law, until the third reading,” he noted.
According to Pokorná Jermanová, the draft is in conflict with the EU law on audiovisual media services by the proposed tightening of the definition of organizations that can submit proposals for candidates to councils. Newly, they would have to have at least a ten-year history, in order to prevent their purposeful establishment. According to the deputy, this is discrimination. “If the amendment is approved in this form, we will initiate a complaint to the European Commission,” she said.
The government proposed to involve the Senate in the election of councilors of the Czech Republic and the Czech Republic, now they are chosen only by deputies. Pokorná Jermanová believes that the election process will be different in both parliamentary chambers, which, according to her, will violate the constitutionally guaranteed equality of people when elected to public positions. According to Pokorná Jermanová, YES would therefore demand the repeal of the law at the Constitutional Court.
The ANO deputy also pointed to the alleged conflict of interests of the former rapporteur of the amendment, Jan Lacina (STAN). According to her, he is the manager of a cafe company that received orders from ČT. According to Lacina, the cafe operates in the New Stage building of the National Theater and is probably an invoice for refreshments at the Zlatá Praha television festival. “I won't tell you more about it, it has its own chief of operations,” he said. Pokorná Jermanová threatened to file a complaint with the European Commission for conflict of interest and violation of the rule of law.
The opposition and the coalition are arguing about the amendment, just as they did in previous discussions. Opposition representatives again blame the government camp for trying to control a pair of public media and link the changes to this year's election of a new CEO of CT. Coalition politicians, on the other hand, claim that the goal of the amendment is to strengthen the resilience of Czech Television and Czech Radio.
“We are presenting a proposal that makes it more difficult for politicians of any political representation to influence public television,” Baxa said in the debate. According to Lacina, the proposed changes to the laws on ČT and CRo will “shadow” both public service media from the government majority in the House of Representatives. “The carp in the House have to drain their pond, and some carp in the House simply don't like it,” he commented on the actions of the opposition, which is trying to block the approval of the bill. ANO Member of Parliament Jana Mračková Vildumetzová (ANO) failed in the lower chamber with a proposal to suspend the final round of deliberations until next year.
Deputies will probably not vote on the form of the amendment today. 12 MPs are currently applying for a regular debate and approval of laws is only possible in the Chamber according to the rules of procedure on Wednesdays and Fridays between 09:00 and 14:00.